Jenson Button, McLaren, Singapore, 2016

Hamilton best in qualifying, Alonso toughest in races – Button

2016 F1 season

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Jenson Button has revealed which of his team mates were the strongest during his 17-year Formula One career.

The veteran of over 300 grand prix starts unsurprisingly named two other world champions as his most formidable competitors.

“You always look at your team mate,” said Button in an interview with former team owner Eddie Jordan for Top Gear. “In qualifying, it’s probably Lewis [Hamilton].”

“In a race situation, Fernando [Alonso] is the most difficult to beat.”

“If you have a great race, Fernando is right on your ass, and you don’t know how he’s still there. And if he has a great race, he’s in front of you. It’s like he’s always there, you can’t get rid of him.”

Button also named Daniel Ricciardo as his tip for future success in F1.

Max [Verstappen] is an amazing talent, and he will, I’m sure, be fighting for the world championship one day, but I love the way that Daniel Ricciardo has upped his game this year,” said Button.

“He’s the older driver, more experienced driver, but he hasn’t cracked under pressure, and I really like that about him. And he’s a good guy as well.”

The McLaren-contracted driver intends to emulate his late father John by making rallycross he next career move.

“Definitely rallycross,” he said, “whether it’s in America or it’s the World Championship – one day I would love to race in that. Next year I’ll definitely race in rallycross in some form, and test the cars.”

He ruled out a move into IndyCar or NASCAR and admitted his hopes of racing in the Le Mans 24 Hours had faded owing to recent developments.

“I’d love to do Le Mans,” said Button. “But it’s finding the right opportunities, the right drive and making sure I’m racing when the sport is in a good place.”

“It’s sad that Audi’s left. That’s one competitor gone, which is very sad, and I don’t know how long Porsche is going to be around for either. So it’s a tricky one, I’d also like to race in Super GT, at Suzuka, which I’m going to do hopefully next year and who knows what else.”

2016 F1 season

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 19 comments on “Hamilton best in qualifying, Alonso toughest in races – Button”

    1. Wish you all the best Jenson, you were one of my favourites.

    2. Alonso is overrated IMO, i fail to see what people see in Alonso that they claim he’s the so called best.

      1. @revelations
        I’m sure Button has less insight in the scene to make accurate claims than we do

        I’m not saying everything a (ex-)F1 driver says is the objective truth, but in regards to who was tougher to beat, a driver’s opinion must weigh heavily imo

      2. Are you trolling? or just not watched F1 for the last 11 years?

        1. @ju88sy
          Maybe he’s a troll AND didn’t watch F1 for the last 11 years.

      3. F1 is one of those things where ‘IMO’ only counts for so much. Excluding a tumultuous first stint at McLaren, he has been consistently – often vastly – superior to his teammate. Look at this year, what each got out of their equipment? He is lightning quick, I think that’s beyond anyone’s opinion.

      4. I totally agree with Revelations on the Alonso statement. What has Alonso done so greatly outside the Renault F1 team that gave him the championship? Anyone in that year driving for Renault would be able to win the championship; McLaren failed in 2005 and in 2006 Ferrari failed. It is that championship of 2006, I think, that gave Alonso his fame as one of the few who beat Schumacher… But as said; Renault had a superior car and Michael had a lot of bad luck that year. With Alonso I always feel like he’s winning ’cause others fail, not because he’s just better.

        1. Yes, because Alonso’s reputation was purely based on 2006. Please don’t comment on F1 forums if you’ve been living under a rock.

        2. I’m with you too, been watching since late 80’s and don’t rate Alonso. He’s quick, in a quick car but so have his team mates. Ferrari really pandered to him as they did for Michael, Seb and all their other favoured drivers. Alonso didn’t get that treatment first time round at McLaren and threw his dummies out as a result. He was much more grown up this time but his opponent wasn’t as tenacious and quick as others he’s had.

      5. Im you mate, i have seen f1 for around 16years or more..and i still dont get why they rate Alonso like that… he is not a good qualifier..his race craft is normal..bad team player.. very political only when it comes to defensive or attacking moves I think he is really good..

        1. his race craft is normal..bad team player.. very political only when it comes to defensive or attacking moves I think he is really good..

          Yes,…

          If it is just you, consider the possibility you’re wrong.

          Regarding Alonso beating his teammates though, Vettel had more work with Webber than Alonso ever had with any teammate since Hamilton himself.

          1. Regarding Alonso beating his teammates though, Vettel had more work with Webber than Alonso ever had with any teammate since Hamilton himself.

            I agree with that

      6. Everyone in F1 is saying that Alonso deserves more champions and that is a shame that is such talent won just two, and you think is overrated? I’m not an Alonso superfan and I think he was not always correct during his career, but come on he destroyed Raikkonen in equal machinery, was able to fight for the champion with the Ferrari when the car was not the best, until last gp, he’s always delivering great performances and rarely made mistakes. And all champions make mistakes, no one is a robot, look at Hamilton, Schumacher or Senna.

      7. I seriously can not accept anyone who makes a statement like that a F1 fan. Absolutely ignorant.

    3. I’m glad Jenson wants to still race.

    4. Evil Homer (@)
      1st December 2016, 13:24

      Best wishes mate!

    5. Most of the times Lewis was too far ahead in the races to see Hamilton. Lewis might have the odd race where his performance is off but he’s consistently fast.

      1. Lewis spiritual journey has reach highest level that he now mastered astral projection…

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