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Lewis Hamilton

Button admits where he couldn't match Hamilton or Alonso

Jenson Button was often a match for his strongest teammates during his Formula 1 career, but there was one key area where he feels he could not compete.

Alonso Hamilton
To news overview © Mercedes

Jenson Button admits that the key difference between him and his former teammates Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso was their ability to drive a bad car, something he felt unable to do.

During his Formula 1 career, Button raced alongside several strong drivers, including Hamilton at McLaren between 2010 and 2012 and Alonso – also at the Woking-based outfit – in 2015 and 2016.

The Briton was often a match for those he drove alongside, but knows that he could not get the most out of an underperforming car in the way that Hamilton and Alonso could.

"My greatest weakness was that I wasn't willing to move on from a bad weekend," Button told the High Performance podcast. "But I feel I've definitely got over that.

"One thing I've not been able to get over is driving a bad car. That's my weakness. Lewis [and] Fernando Alonso can jump in a bad car and get more out of it than I can. That's probably my weakness."

Button thinks that another key difference between himself and Hamilton is how their driving styles vary.

"[My] strength is [that] the way I drive is very different to most," the 2009 F1 World Champion explained.

"For example, Lewis comes into a corner – it's great because I have all the speed traces and everything from the data when we were teammates – but hammers the brake as hard as he can, there's no modulation, turns into the corner, goes on the throttle, the same amount of pressure every time, and he does everything through the steering wheel.

"Whereas I was the complete opposite. I would brake and modulate it, to stop front locking, and I would come on the throttle and modulate the throttle, so I didn't have to change my steering angle.

"So I'd be smooth on the steering. They'd say, 'Oh, he looks so smooth'. It's just because that's what I would use very differently than someone like Lewis. That hurt me in some ways, but it helped me in those mixed conditions [to] really feel the condition underneath me."


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