Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton may not be the best of friends, judging by the former Formula 1 world champion’s response to a question about his old team-mate.
Button and Hamilton, by the former’s own admission in previous interviews, endured a sometimes frosty relationship in their three seasons together at McLaren.
Fresh from winning his only Formula 1 world title with the short-lived Brawn GP team in 2009, Button arrived at McLaren for the start of the 2010 campaign to complete alongside his fellow Brit.
Button has admitted in the past that their competitiveness perhaps drove a barrier between them during their time together, with arguments over team orders and their respective claims for another title.
A 23-year-old Hamilton had claimed his first championship title in 2008, but did not win again until he had moved to rivals Mercedes five years later. Button, meanwhile, failed to win again before retiring from F1 in 2017, although he did finish as runner-up to Sebastian Vettel in McLaren colours in 2011.
Since moving to Mercedes, Hamilton has of course dominated with four wins in six seasons with the Silver Arrows.
And he appears on course to win his sixth world championship – he is 64 points clear at the top of the standings with four races remaining – and take a step closer to Michael Schumacher’s record of seven titles.
Button joined the Sports Breakfast on talkSPORT to chat about his new book, ‘How To Be An F1 Driver’.
And, asked if his fellow Brit is the best ever, Button said: “He’s very good.
“We were team-mates for three years so I could see first hand how good he is. His natural ability is fantastic.”
However, asked if it’s impossible to compare him to Jackie Stewart and the sport’s other icons, he added: “Yeah, you can’t compare.”
Button was then quickly asked if his former team-mate is ‘a nice guy’, to which he replied: “… so many questions!”
“He’s not then? Alright. Just say it, ‘no I don’t like him,” teased host Alan Brazil.
To which Button replied with a laugh: “Your words!”
Continuing his previous answer, he added: “You really can’t compare. He’s been in a team that has dominated Formula 1.
“I have loved watching F1 this year because Ferrari and Red Bull have had chances to win races and it’s been awesome to watch, but over a season the Mercedes team has been so dominant.
“He’s done a fantastic job as a driver, he’s done what’s been asked of him, but you can’t compare him to drivers of a different era. It was a different sport, even, back then.”
Button also believes there’s a driver on the current F1 circuit who could become better than Hamilton and may be the fastest the sport has even seen: Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.
“I think he is the fastest driver that has ever driven an F1 car, I really do,” the Brit added about the ‘special’ 22-year-old.
The Dutchman has a total of seven race wins to his name, with six podium finishes this season.
“I think he is unbelievably fast,” Button said. “Previously to this year he made some mistakes, as you would expect from a young driver, but now he’s doing such a fantastic job.
“I really do think he is very special.”
Listen back to Jenson Button on the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast IN FULL above
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