Valtteri Bottas, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Monza, 2020

Bottas is not pushing Hamilton as hard as Rosberg did, says Button

2020 F1 season

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Lewis Hamilton recently claimed his team mate Valtteri Bottas doesn’t get enough credit for how competitive a rival he is.

But one of Hamilton’s former team mates disagrees. Jenson Button believes Bottas could be pushing him harder in races.

Button said Hamilton’s last team mate, Nico Rosberg was a tougher opponent for the six-times champion. Rosberg left Formula 1 after beating Hamilton to the 2016 world championship by five points.

Hamilton and Button were team mates at McLaren for three seasons, from 2010 to 2012. Button said during that time they were more closely matched in races than in qualifying.

“He beat me in qualifying,” recalled Button in an interview for The Collecting Cars Podcast. “He won more races than me. But I think I won eight, races, he won 10 races, so it was pretty close.

Hamilton and Button were team mates at McLaren
“We had a lot of great races in our time together. For me, he was quicker than me in qualifying. I out-qualified him a few times, but nothing like he did with me.

“But in the race, that’s when I would come into my own, and I knew how to work the cars, work the tyres, work the strategy, in mixed conditions especially. So I loved our fights. It was sad when he left the team, it really was.”

Button, who last raced in F1 three years ago, believes other drivers would put Hamilton under greater pressure if they had Bottas’s car.

“Lewis is a different Lewis to what I knew,” he said. “Lewis when I knew him was lightning quick in qualifying. Like Valtteri can do.

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“But in the race, he was quick, and sometimes he could get one over on you, but a lot of the time he’d make mistakes or he would not understand how to get from A to B as quick as possible. He’d try and do every lap as fast as he could, and he would destroy tyres, he would over-use fuel, choose the wrong strategy.

“But now it’s a completely different Lewis. He doesn’t do that. Also because he doesn’t have a Max Verstappen pushing him. He doesn’t have a Nico Rosberg pushing him, either. I’m not going to say my name in that because that would be weird.”

Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Imola, 2020
Verstappen is F1’s quickest driver, says Button
Button considers Verstappen the quickest driver in terms of outright speed in F1 today, and one of the four leading drivers in the series. “I think him and Lewis are up there. I also think Charles Leclerc is with them at the moment. I think that Danny Ric[ciardo]’s with them. I think those four stand alone at the moment.”

Verstappen’s dominance at Red Bull has left the team weighing up a replacement for his team mate, Alexander Albon, for the second year in a row.

“I actually think that they’ve turned the corner with treating their young drivers,” he said. “Over the years they have been tough, especially with Gasly. I think with Albon they’ve realised they need to take it a bit easier and maybe work with him with engineering and try and get [him] up [to] speed.

“The biggest issue is he’s got the quickest driver in the world for outright speed as a team mate, whose also set the car up like he wants it, which is on the nose, very oversteery and no one else can drive it.”

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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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129 comments on “Bottas is not pushing Hamilton as hard as Rosberg did, says Button”

  1. I dont buy into this RedBull set up thing making the car hard to drive for others. It is more likely the fourth or fifth car on the grid and an above average driver can get it on the podium. RedBull need to step up their game

    1. @Mayrton No, it’s still the second-fastest car on outright pace. Max alone couldn’t get it that high if it were slower than the RP, Renault, and or Mclaren.

      1. Well, then Albon needs to leave today

    2. The car is biased towards Verstappen’s driving. Red Bull wanted to make Verstappen the youngest world champion, and failed. Now they know that it is better to have the other driver develop with them and their car rather than constantly replacing that driver with another who could potentially experience the same issues as Gasly or Albon has been encountering with the cars. The car needs to be driveable, and that should allow the drivers to extract the pace, much like the Ferrari of 2017, where it was not consistently the fastest car, but one that was easier to drive than the Mercedes of 2017.

      Still if Red Bull has a driver far ahead of the other consistently, then it’s their fault for not giving the necessary help to that driver. It has been happening for 2 years now. Get yourselves straight.

    3. Comparing the performance of the 2019 and 2020 cars shows that the current Red Bull is the second fastest car.

      There are several circuits where, when comparing times, even the 2019 Red Bull would still be the second fastest car, and although the 2020 car was initially only about equal to the 2019 car, since then it has pulled ahead – the midfield hasn’t quite closed up that much.

  2. Yup. Rosberg was a Button 2.0. Bottas is a Barrichello 2.0.

    1. True. Both Rosberg and Button cheated.

      1. A strange comment. How did they cheat exactly? Button in particular because I don’t recall anything.

        1. Re: cheating comment.
          This is how elections are won, you just throw out a comment and no one cares for the fact checking afterwards because psychologically the seed has been sown and the damage is done.

          1. @kringle
            I expanded on that. Why don’t you care to do the same?

        2. @phil-f1-21
          He played games to win McLaren team and made them focusing on him.
          He was clearly Whitmarsh’s favorite driver and always got better car and strategies.
          Plus, he got away unpunished after voluntarily slamming his teammate on the wall in Canada 2011.
          Luckily, karma played out and doomed both Jensie and Martin.

          1. Oh well done! I’m glad you have so much insight to the inner workings of the McLaren team 8/9/10 years ago. Jenson never slammed Lewis into the wall either. There was no penalty applied or the equivalent sanction then. The comment is completely fantasy from within your own head.

    2. Look at previous two years Rosberg was miles behind, how can you judge on him having the edge on only one year. Everyone can have a bad year. Take it you don’t like lewis, hence this I’ll judge comment. Bottas is better than button, he is competitive but fare. Jenson is a spoilt brat.

      1. Odd conclusion – rosberg had a poor 2015 but otherwise he was a formidable opponent. Bottas has never reached that level.

    3. Valtteri Bottas = Rubens Barrichello + Eddie Irvine + Johnny Dumfries combined together

  3. As much as I dislike Rosberg’s approach to Hamilton, which was to win by all means necessary, he deserves recognition for beating Hamilton in 2016. The problem is that, Hamilton is applying the “taking no prisoners” in an improved manner now. In 2016 Hamilton could have just qualified P2 in Azerbaijan or somewhere near the front row, and that would have made a huge difference to his result there. Hamilton could have also reacted quicker to the lights in Bahrain, saving him from contact with Bottas, and arguably P2 to make a difference in the championship. I am sure the Hamilton today would have easily won 2016.

    As much as the benefit Rosberg has gotten from circumstances outside his control, it goes to show that he fought his hardest against Hamilton, and I would take him over Vettel in terms of giving Hamilton a challenge, in the years where the fight was closest, 2016-2018.

    1. True. Lewis had an engine failure in MYS that year. He was leading almost a straight.

    2. The Rosberg approach is exactly what I expect from an athlete push and push hard to the brink to get a competitive edge over your opponent.
      Rosberg was there to win, Bottas is only there to compete..

      1. @SadF1fan
        THe key factor in Rosberg’s favour was not him being there to win.
        It was Mercedes being there to let him win.
        Four engines blown up by Hamilton (the sole Mercedes’ driver to experience something like that in 2016) speak volumes.

        1. I can’t wait to have a chance in reading their books, if ever they publish one. I would be really surprised if a team with that philosophy, orchestrated Rosberg to win the championship over Hamilton. I’d also like to point out that Rosberg did have some “help” from Red Bull in the last races. In USA of that year, he was running 3rd behind Ricciardo, and Hamilton leading. However, Verstappen retired from the race, deploying a VSC, and allowing Rosberg to get a free pit stop, jumping Ricciardo. In Brazil, Red Bull pitted Verstappen on the wrong tyres, while he was in 2nd place behind Hamilton. This allowed Rosberg to secure P2 in both USA and Brazil rather than a potential P2/P3 or two P3’s.

        2. I think Rosberg simply started that season better than Hamilton: 4 wins in the first four races @liko41 That coupled with a bit of bad luck was enough to tip the scales in Rosberg’s favour

        3. @liko41:
          Maybe you need to rewatch that entire season, including all the interviews with Rosberg, and compare his behaviour, his rhetoric and his performance to Bottas.

          Rosberg was there to win, and he didn’t owe Lewis a thing.
          Bottas is some type of noble athlete who is already content he can partake in the competition, and thinks the battle must be done with a sense of “honor”. And that’s why Bottas will never win, he isn’t willing to do what it takes to win.
          Rosberg was willing every step of the way.

          1. @SadF1fan
            Again, you could be there to do whatever you want, but you don’t succeed just because you want it.
            Rosberg was determined to win “at all costs”, meaning he cheats.
            And then run away , obviously.

    3. @krichelle If Hamilton had issues in about a dozen races like he had in 2016, then Bottas would have looked a lot better too and perhaps even lead the WDC right now.

      Instead it has been Bottas who has suffered the brunt of the issues since 2018. Skewing the advantage for Hamilton even more.

      1. “ If Hamilton had issues in about a dozen races like he had in 2016,”
        Issues like parking his car in the back of Rosberg?
        Issues like failing to get a grip on his start clutch?
        Issues like “overdriving?” the car and blowing up his engine?

        Or do you mean: If Hamilton has started as uninspired as he did in 2016”?

        (But let me guess: All your arguments that reason to Hamilton actually beating Rosberg in 2016 don’t apply to Max actually beating Daniel in 2017, right?)

        1. @Oconomo
          Issues like
          – blowing up four engines (the sole Mercedes driver to experience that)
          – solving his start procedure’s dfficulties only to see them present themselves again misteriously,just because the team did not worry about it.
          – Overdriving? Just LOL.

          You h@t3rs are honestly hilarious.

        2. If Hamilton has started as uninspired as he did in 2016”

          You mean:
          – Having start system issue in Australia (together with Rosberg BTW)
          – Getting punted off by Bottas in turn 1 in Bahrain
          – Starting from P22 in China due to technical issues in quali
          – Starting from P10 in Russia due to technical issues in Q3

          A sane person calls those (technical) issues though.

        3. Oconomo, I’m guessing this is going to be your usual “I must trash Hamilton because he is beating Verstappen” post (we all know that your posts seem to be mostly driven by that jealousy and bitterness), but Rosberg also suffered from clutch issues in 2016 – so, if you want to trash Hamilton, why aren’t you also trashing Rosberg for “failing to get a grip on his start clutch”?

          Furthermore, it is known that Mercedes had to introduce a late modification to their clutch selection mechanism following a late decision by the FIA to change the clutch operation procedures on the grid – a change sold on the premise of “introducing randomness”, but reportedly more of a case of Ferrari pushing for a rule change in the expectation it would hurt Mercedes the most (which it did) – and that they then went on to modify the clutch system between 2016 and 2017.

      2. @F1osaurus: it doesn’t matter how much luck Bottas will have, he lacks the will to win and therefore he will never beat Lewis.

  4. “I actually think that they’ve turned the corner with treating their young drivers,” he said. “Over the years they have been tough, especially with Gasly. I think with Albon they’ve realised they need to take it a bit easier and maybe work with him with engineering and try and get [him] up [to] speed.

    If you need any evidence that Button is talking BS.

    1. If Button a WDC is talking BS then in relative terms Yaru a Racefans commenter is talking something much worse than BS
      Must be really bad

      1. @jeorge Well let’s hear from Albon all the hard work that has been done to help make the car drivable for him too?

        1. Sure, they’re gonna make the car slower just to make Albon feel better……lol.
          F1oclown at his best!

          1. Well that’s the point now isn’t it? Thanks for so honestly agreeing with me.

  5. Something about most of these British drivers (past or present) always trying to bring Lewis down a few notches with their round-a-bout opinions. Jackie Stewart being the ring leader, then you have Paul Di-resta who struggles to give Lewis his flowers and undermines his performances at any given point (apparently the hate runs deep in the family too). Button slick with the tongue, will always reminding us at every given opportunity that he struggled to beat Lewis during one of his toughest years in the sport, notably 2011. And Norris at the back taking notes.

    Give the guy his flowers while he’s still racing and keep it moving. Not every time Lewis is good but…

    Vettel alone has shown appreciation for the Lewis more than any of these guys combined.

    1. @lums I didn’t get that impression from JB. He basically said Hamilton was better than him at McL, even when he didn’t know how to be in full control of races like he does now (when he used to drive flat out every lap). This seems to imply that Hamilton 2020 edition is much better than Button ever was, and surely that is respect. If he disrespected anyone at all it’s probably Bottas. But eh, he’s not wrong.

    2. Hmm….i think Button was balanced with his assessment of Hamilton during his partnered years. Ham was a bit more aggressive and less conservative then than he is now…he also made more mistakes. He has learnt to be a better version of himself which is what Button highlighted. Like Hamilton I think Max is gone through that maturing phase where is now closer to being a complete driver.

      1. I agree with you and ‘Rapid’. There is no disrespect in Button’s comments. It’s a compliment to Lewis if anything.

      2. Hamilton also had a lot more issues. Among which getting put in the wall by Button on the straight in Canada, but also a ton of pit errors and DNF’s. For instance at the end of 2012 Hamilton could have won 4 races, but instead his car broke down.

        Reality is that if both cars were without issue, Hamilton would finish ahead of Button at least 2 out of 3, if not 3 out of 4 races.

        So it’s only “balanced” if you look at the scoreboard rather than how they were matched on actual racing skills.

        1. At the time they raced together, Button was even with Hamilton, so stop trying to change history, the stats don’t lie. Those years taught Hamilton a lot, there was no shame in a driver with 7 years more experience having some advantages at that time like Button did. Button had one accident with Hamilton that was not deliberate or malicious.

          Button was a better driver on Sundays in the time they were together for the most part and the main reason Hamilton ever had the edge was his qualifying advantage although that usually came at the expense of his race setup.

          Is Hamilton a better driver now than he was then, absolutely. He is also a better driver than Button ever was now. For the 3 years they were together though, he did not have the beating of Button and that was with 3 years advantage of building the team around him prior to Buttons arrival.

          1. @slowmo No when they raced together Hamilton would usually be far ahead of Button. Until Hamilton’s car broke down or indeed he tried to hard to actually win rather than cruise home.

            So yes, Hamilton will have made a few more mistakes than Button or wore out his tyres a bit more often trying to get that win. But Button was never even close to Hamilton.

            2012 Hamilton qualified 15 to 5 against Button. He finished ahead of Button 8 times vs 3 for Button. Plus Hamilton lost 4 race wins due to technical issues. Button would have been utterly destroyed if actual racing was rewarded so stop trying to pretend history is defined by being lazy and looking only at the scoreboard.

          2. Maybe the reason Hamilton had so many issues was related to his driving and setup but don’t let a thing like facts get in the way of your agenda. He was better on qualifying but far worse on race pace. Consistency is a driver trait too and Button was better at the time. Must really hurt the fanatic Hamikton fans who claimed Hamilton would blow him away when it never happened. Made you all look silly.

          3. @slomo
            What?

            The score board says something completely different to you?

            LH beat Button 2 seasons to 1
            LH out qualified JB by a simply ridiculous number
            LH won more races than JB
            LH had more podiums than JB

            LH definitely lost on the reliability front and was nearly always ahead before retiring due to reliability or pit errors or a crash.

            JB was a good racer but his intent was never to win a championship and indeed was never in a position to do so at the end of even his best and LH worst season whereas LH was – particularly in 2010 where a wheel rim lost him the championship.

            His intention was mostly to beat Lewis – 2012 showed him the errors of that.

          4. So the metric that shows Button in a Good light should be dismissed, right….

    3. Button just highlighted that Rosberg gave Hamilton a harder time than Bottas. He also acknowledges that Hamilton has improved a lot since their shared time at McLaren. Why do so many Hamilton fans (and Hamilton himself) play this victimization game so much?

    4. Welcome to F1. They all think they are the best, its a necessary personality trait to even get to F1. I think they’re all too lovey dovey, Jackie Stewart aside who is just an old man being an old man, theres way too much respect. More fireworks would be nice, some simmering hayte but of course fair alongside ultra hard driving. If we want Senna/Prost/Mansell then we need some real life emotion and that includes negative simmering b_i_l_e.

      1. Why? We are already saturated with bitter and angry guys constantly moaning about everything – why does everything have to be ruined by those seeking bile and bitterness like you?

        1. @anon

          haha says the bitterest man on the net and basically my stalker

          Shoo

          1. @tonymansell who do you think you are to boss others around? You do not own this site and have no right to order others around. What next – are you going to start demanding that Keith Collantine must bow down to the mighty Tony Mansell because he has spoken and he must be obeyed?

            Stop throwing utterly childish tantrums every time you want to act offended because you can’t cope with somebody else having the temerity to say they don’t agree with you. Why don’t you take your own advice and get out of here given you constantly get offended at the slightest thing?

            You do nothing but bitterly complain about everything – the drivers are too boring, the races are too boring, you abuse and insult other posters here because they don’t tell you what you want to hear.

            Go elsewhere where you can hear others tell you what you want to hear – because, apparently, you lack the maturity to respond in any other way but harassment and sulking.

          2. @anon

            Well said!

    5. I thought Button was pretty fair in his assessment and remember JYS was always criticizing Schumacher, so it may just be a bit of get off my lawn.

      1. @anon

        Wow i really wind you up. Calm down, actually just go away you weirdo, I’ve no wish to engage with you. If you have a problem with me don’t read my comments but dont accuse people of bullying and then start telling people to go stop reading the site. Y

        Shu t your mouth, engage your brain and GO AWAY.

        1. @tonymansell why should I obey your demands to go away? What are you going to do if I do not go away? Are you really going to start trying to threaten or intimidate me over something this inconsequential? And for what? Because of a sense of wounded pride on your part?

          Equally, if you don’t like seeing my comments, then why don’t you take your own advice and not read them? You are the one constantly losing your temper when you are criticised, to the point you are now actively seeking out other posts I’ve made to scream abuse at me. You cannot claim any sort of moral high ground when you now seem to be actively stalking me.

          Judging by your rather agitated and irritable tone, it seems that you are the one who is getting rather more easily wound up and becoming more erratic when that happens too – no need for bile from motorsport when you seem to be generating plenty of it yourself.

          Tell me – would you be proud about behaving like this in front of others? Would you happily scream at others to “FO” in front of a crowd of people, as you put it elsewhere? I am willing to bet that you would not behave like this in public normally – why do you think your behaviour is acceptable here?

          Now, if I did say to you that, to avoid further arguments, I would not comment on your posts and you would not comment on mine in turn, because any such deal should be reciprocal in nature, would you be prepared to abide by that? You have no more right to demand of me terms that you would not accept yourself – so, be honest, would you be prepared to abide by such terms? Or would you refuse to be bound by such a deal yourself?

  6. We watched all the races and Button has a point. Hamilton has learned not just to trust his team but question their motive for any actions they take. He learned that from his last 3 seasons at Mclaren. The team had 2 strategists back then. One was on it and the other had not a clue.
    I also do not believe Bottas gets all the credit he deserves. Hamilton has stepped up several levels. Rosberg would not be able to keep up with Hamilton were he still racing now.

    1. Dave (@davewillisporter)
      9th November 2020, 17:03

      Totally agree with OOliver, Lewis is next level these days. Fast, consistent, strategic and a master of tyre saving. Nico gave it everything in 2016 and admitted it was unsustainable. He would have been beaten again in 2017 simply because he couldn’t have kept up the focus to the extent he did. 2020 Lewis is better that 2017 Lewis. Valtteri has been slowly improving. He has mentioned how Lewis squares off corners which is easier on tyres. He’s already a good qualifier (not as good as Nico who even Michael was impressed with) In a couple of years he will likely be better in the race too. That said I don’t think he’s as good as Max or Charles or Daniel, which is handy for Merc. Historically, two extremely competitive drivers in the same team is a recipe for lots of broken carbon fibre or some pretty bad atmospheres.

  7. Rubens not pushing Button as hard as, lol. Button who? The one sent mclaren spiraling down a deep elevator shaft.

    1. Are you seriously blaming JB for McLaren’s struggles? I suppose you blame your table leg for stubbing your toe.

      1. Yeah, he’s that illogical to blame the driver for the complete technical brain fade that went on 2013-2017 in the team that resulted in a complete overhaul of the team from principal to technical heads.

  8. So, according to Button, Verstappen is quicker than Hamilton?
    Harsh assumption.
    JB has always had bad blood against Hamilton because Lewis, with immense and early success, screwed up all the hype surrounding little Jensie since his own debut.
    So, when jensie joined McLaren, he tried every tricks of the trade to win the team over and convince them to give him a better car. He finally succeeded: Whitmarsh got to the point of blaming Hamilton when Jensie put him on the wall on purpose in Canada 2011.
    This outrageous Button-oriented management doomed McLaren heavily for a decade.
    Well done, Martin W.
    Well done, Jensie.
    Enjoy your time as a TV commentator while someone else is rewriting history.

    1. 10/10 for mental acrobatics, well done!

    2. Donald? Is that you?

    3. Button has never crashed into anyone deliberately in his career, unlike quite a few other highly rated drivers I would add…

  9. You cant compare Lewis in his 4th season to now, I dont know why he has to bring it up, can we compare when Button was partnered with Ralf Schumacher to when he was with Lewis. Yes Rosberg and Lewis age mate with similar experience, Bottas on the other hand is not as experienced as Lewis, but both Massa and Smedley all said Bottas will be a champion in the right car.

  10. Button’s comments disprove his thought. He says that a younger Hamilton made mistakes and Hamilton won 10 whilst Button won 8. Today’s HAM makes fewer mistakes and thus if he raced a Button of old then HAM probably wins 16 to Button’s 2 which is basically where BOT is.

  11. We all know Lewis is a great driver. Button is being complimentary if anything saying he could just about stay with Lewis back in the McLaren days but might not be able to now. That being if he was racing the improved, more experienced Lewis.

    I like Lewis. But why are his ultra-fans so touchy if anyone even whispers a comment that could be vaguely interpreted as a criticism?

    1. Dave (@davewillisporter)
      9th November 2020, 18:40

      @phil-f1-21 Agree. I’m a Lewis fan from GP2 days and a McLaren and Mercedes fan. Jenson’s comments are no big deal. I’ve read both his books and his time at McLaren with Lewis was the first time Button was challenged since his Benneton days. He has a lot of respect for Lewis and is just stating two things. 1. Lewis has improved a lot since they were team mates and 2. Bottas isn’t pushing him as hard as Nico did. Lewis’s penalties in Austria, Monza and Russia could have been crucial in a close fight yet he’s 85 points ahead. People forget races like Bahrain 2014. Nico was closer. That said, I spent 3 years wincing at the prospect of both Mercs crashing out. Id prefer the competition to come from another team if only because it is better competition. The problem is your team mate has all your data and knows your race strategy. The team want a 1,2 so wont throw a chance strategy at the other car. It’s much more interesting when different teams are competitive.

  12. Jose Lopes da Silva
    9th November 2020, 13:24

    Hamilton showed several signs of lack of maturity during his early years. IIRC, even in 2014 he was sub-par in Hungary for something he did outside the track. Montoya also had this “lack of maturity”. And James Hunt too.
    One needs to be overprofessional in these days and it seems clear that Hamilton stopped showing those signs in the late years. It can be the natural age evolution, the environment at Mercedes, the possibility to win, or all this together. We can’t say that Hamilton is now at the same level he was at the early state of his career. Even his first year at Mercedes was not as impressive as it is now.

    Every driver as an occasional weekend where is pace gets lost. Like Hamilton in Monaco 2017. When was the last time this happened with him?

    Why can’t drivers evolve over years, especially in fields other than pure pace? Surely Hamilton did. And surely Bottas seems a little below Rosberg in comparison, but we can believe Hamilton when he says he is getting better, because even comparing with the rest of the field he looks better.

    1. Like several others here, well said.

      To me the interview seems a little unclear whether Button means that Bottas is probably doing a good job, but Hamilton has just grown and is thus now a harder nut to crack than he was for Rosberg (also having learned from experience w. Rosberg, maybe Button, Alonso etc), or whether supposedly Bottas is weaker, which would make me wonder how Button can know that. I guess I’ll go with the former, and agree that Rosberg was able to challenge the Hamilton of that time more than Bottas is able to do right now.

      Also puzzled about mention of Verstappen in the interview as we likewise don’t know quite whether he’d be faster than Hamilton, or consistent enough to regularly beat Hamilton, even if it is fine to hope and believe so for us fans.

    2. 2014 hungary his car caught fire on the beginning of qualy. Started from the pit and almost won the race. Finished 3rd. How can that be subpar?

      1. Jose Lopes da Silva
        9th November 2020, 17:12

        Maybe I’m confusing something. I remember he mentioning, long after the facts that he was losing pace for Rosberg in a weekend due to partying and lack of sleep. He stopped doing it since.
        He frequently mentions the need to charge batteries, the way the team makes him feel comfortable, together with the need to fully focus on work. It’s the “uber-athlete” standard that Schumacher, Senna, Prost, Piquet and Lauda, each of them in their particular way, left us with.

        1. ROFL. You probably mean it was people wo pretended that was the reason for him to lose a race when no one actually confirmed this.

          That’s how it works though. You want to hear something and then accept it because it matches your narrative. Even though it’s only one example and never repeated.

          It’s teh same reasone why people pretend Button was a chengeable wether master. On race (Australia) Button ruined his wet weather tyres and had to pit. While everybody was told to stay out because the rain would pick up again in 15 minutes. Luckily for Button the prediction was wrong and he won.

          Same with Canada. He totally blundered with his weather calls and even ended up a lap down because of them. He rammed off both Hamilton and Alonso a ton of safety cars got him back and gifted hi the win.

          And with that his weather master aura was settled. He was never actually fast on a moist or wet track or particularly good at taking weather based decisions. Just two lucky races.

          1. Dave (@davewillisporter)
            9th November 2020, 18:07

            @f1osaurus Found the quote, on this site. It was Hungary 2015.
            “Hamilton indicated his performance in the Hungarian Grand Prix – his worst result of the year – was affected by a celebrity rendezvous on the morning of the race. Having been invited to watch Ridley Scott filming The Martian at a nearby studio, Hamilton later revealed to the BBC in an interview he “didn’t sleep until like one o’clock and then I woke up at 4am” on the morning of the race and as a result he “felt terrible” before the start.”
            https://ww.f1fanatic.co.uk/2016/01/07/part-time-racer-the-facts-of-hamiltons-jet-set-lifestyle/

          2. @davewillisporter Lol, indeed. That is then the meme that will set the standard.

        2. Perhaps youre talking about Singapore 2016, the only race in which Rosberg was clearly faster to the point there was no fight at all.

          Hamilton couldn’t even secure P2 and was overtaken by kimi. Won the position back with an undercut.

          Possibly his worst race performance-wise since the beginning of the hybrid era.

          1. Jose Lopes da Silva
            9th November 2020, 19:25

            @edvaldo Exactly. Those kinds of events are now quite rare on Hamilton. At the same time, Singapore 16 is now seen as one of Rosberg’s best wins, and rightfully so.

            @f1osaurus I don’t have narratives. I’m a Verstappen fan and a Stroll hater. I think Hamilton is among the very best.
            Speaking about narratives. Statistics say that Jenson Button is one of the best wet weather drivers ever. You should worry more about facts and less about narratives.

          2. Edvaldo

            In Singapore Hamilton missed two practice sessions due to technical issues. So yes he would have had a poor setup because of that.

            Jose Lopes da Silva

            You clearly do have a narrative.

            There are no statistics that show Button to be a good wet weather driver. He never was good in the wet at all. He was supposed to be a good “changing conditions predictor”. ie that he changed tyres when it was best to do so. Also wrong though. He made plenty bad calls, but only the one or two were he was forced into the “right” call were remembered over and over.

        3. Dave (@davewillisporter)
          9th November 2020, 18:01

          Hamilton admitted once to having a lack of sleep affect a race. I think it was Singapore 2015. He went to the filming of The Martian. He was an extra in the scene at the end where Matt Damon addresses a room of Uni students. He said it messed his race up because he was tired. Other than that I am not aware of anything else. He has stated that with the lockdown protocols he has re-considered his lifestyle and would probably live life at a slower speed in future but that was not an admission that it affected his racing. Being stifled and told what not to do at McLaren affected him though. He needs a creative outlet in addition to racing to be himself. It seems to be working!

          1. Singapore 2015, Vettel won and this was due to the ban on the FRIC system nothing to do with lack of sleep. The Hungary 2015 was his worse and he admitted its his worst, but he did get it on pole, but both Ferrari cars beat him to turn one and he went off but he still beat Rosberg in that race

          2. Jose Lopes da Silva
            10th November 2020, 9:57

            @f1osaurus

            (…)
            “Here is what happens if we rank drivers by the difference between their wet weather and dry weather winning percentages.

            # Driver Wet versus dry difference in percentage wins
            1 A Senna 39.7
            2 A Ascari 35.0
            3 J Button 16.7
            4 G Villeneuve 14.7
            5 S Moss 13.6

            (…)

            An alternative method of comparing wet and dry performances is to take the ratio of the winning rates in wet and dry conditions (an alternative method that many statisticians prefer is to take the “odds ratio”, but many people find odds less intuitive to think about than probabilities). This tells us the factor by which a driver is more likely to win in a wet race than a dry race. A value of 1 means a driver is equally likely to win under wet and dry conditions. A value greater than 1 means a driver is more likely to win a wet race than a dry race. A value less than 1 means a driver is less likely to win a wet race than a dry race.

            # Driver Wet versus dry winning probability ratio
            1 J Button 4.75
            2 A Senna 2.47
            3 G Villeneuve 2.44
            4 K Rosberg 2.14

            (…)

            Button stands well ahead by this metric — he is an astonishing 4.75 times more likely to win a wet race than a dry race. Of Button’s 15 wins to date, 8 are from his 179 dry starts, while 7 are from his 33 wet starts. (…)

  13. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    9th November 2020, 13:30

    But in the race, that’s when I would come into my own, and I knew how to work the cars, work the tyres, work the strategy, in mixed conditions especially. So I loved our fights. It was sad when he left the team, it really was.

    I hope Whitmarsh reads this and is rolling on the floor. Funny stuff! If every driver including Button didn’t think they were as good as Lewis, Lewis would have left Button in the dust even in his worst season or lapped him every season. Massa, Maldonado, Button, even Hulk in Brazil all went from F1 drivers into rookies who have never touched a steering wheel the moment Lewis was close to them. Just like Albon who turned into Albonado the moment he ran into Lewis on track.

    Never seen a team work against their own WDC winner as hard as McLaren did when they could have won the championship in 2 out of 3 seasons.

    1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      9th November 2020, 13:35

      in mixed conditions especially

      I hope he’s not referring to the rainy conditions in Canada 2011 and Brazil 2012…

    2. Lewis didn’t beat Button in his worst season, in fact he was blown away in 2011. The Mclaren issues were poor reliability, nothing to do with treatment of their drivers although I’ll concede their strategy wasn’t always good in that period. Hamilton left Mclaren for a fat pay check and the promise of Mercedes hybrid engine advantage from Lauda and Wolf. Luckily for him it worked out well. Obviously Mclaren put all their eggs in the Honda basket which proved a terrible idea along with a technical department that then got the aero philosophy badly wrong for 4 years.

    3. Rob (@realnigelmansell)
      12th November 2020, 0:57

      You mean when hamilton crashed into albon and received a penalty? Button’s not even saying anything negative about lewis

  14. This comment is complete nonsense. It’s the same argument basically that Merc were helping Rosberg and not Lewis in 2016.

    It is blindingly obvious to anyone that Rosberg and Button are the two drivers who have come closest to matching or beating Lewis with the same equipment.

    1. This is a reply to the comment above.

    2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      9th November 2020, 15:45

      @phil-f1-21 While Rosberg was very talented and quick, he was no match for Lewis in the Merc. He was beaten on track every single time they raced wheel-to-wheel and the only reason he won is because he torpedoed Lewis in Spain. Take away Spain, he loses. Take away the DNF, Rosberg loses. Take away all the reliability issues, Rosberg loses. That being said, I’ve given credit to Rosberg for managing to beat Lewis cause it’s very hard.

      As for Button, he came closest to beating or matching Lewis. I think that’s what Button is trying to explain here in his comment which is why it’s comical. If you have to explain it and then you use Canada 2011 and Brazil 2012. And please don’t tell about McLaren not trying to screw up Lewis – I think it’s much better if they were because otherwise they were the most incompetent team to ever perform between 2010 and 2012 with probably the best equipment and driver. They win that award by a mile over the next team – they make Williams over the past 4 years look like Mercedes AMG compared to the mess that was McLaren after Button arrived. And that downward spiral persisted while Button was with the team… Team obliterator is the word I’d probably use for Button.

      1. History doesn’t work by taking away other results. The facts are Button and Rosberg both beat Hamilton over a season and Alonso equalled his points tally. Its pretty clear Bottas isn’t at that level to push Hamilton over a season and that is what Button is alluding to. One season in isolation doesn’t mean anything though.

        1. @slowmo points don’t tell the whole story especially in the Button/Hamilton saga. The fact that Button I believe outscored Hamilton shows you the issues McLaren had because 2010-2012 was their golden era and they could have easily taken away 2 championships (not with Button, of course). I think Button was actually very, very close to Bottas’ level.

          1. No it shows Button beat Hamilton in one season and was the better Mclaren driver that year which was pretty clear to any unbiased observer in 2011. Hamilton’s under performance is on him and nobody else.

      2. @slowmo

        … and LH beat Button 2 seasons to 1 and he beat Rosberg 3 seasons to 1

        … and he beat Alonso the double world champion in his first year.

        He beat him as a Rookie much as the historical rewrites try to minimise that fact.

        And unlike all of them he has put a car on pole and won a race in all his seasons regardless of its ability. Even in 2009 when the car spent over half the year at the back of the grid.

        1. Don’t pretend that 2009 McLaren wasn’t the fastest car in a straight line which paid huge dividends at a few races that year. Sure it was overweight, lacked downforce and not the class of the field but it was not the worst car in the field after several races either.

          No other driver in his career has ever had so many good cars to drive, that’s a simple fact. His achievements are great but the context is he has had a race winning car every year on pure pace at one or more races.

          The main point though was Button was the downfall of Mclaren in this comment chain which is clearly rubbish. He just happened to be driving for them. Likewise the sudden rise of Mercedes was not solely due to the groundwork laid by Schumacher but a incredible technical team.

          1. @slowmo was it actually the fastest car in a straight line?

            There is speed trap data from races in 2009 where the MP4/24 wasn’t that great in a straight line, at least in some races. For example, at the 2009 Chinese GP, the best speed which a McLaren driver recorded in practice was 309.0kph – their top end speed was basically middle of the pack, being about the same as BMW-Sauber, Brawn, Williams and Toyota, who were in the 307-310kph range, with Ferrari, Toro Rosso, Red Bull and Force India all being faster (311-317kph).

            The 2009 MP4/24 was, at least in terms of top end straight line speed, more of an average performer – they might have had an initial slight acceleration advantage from the KERS boost, but at high speed that really didn’t make much of a difference.

            That season, if you were looking for the car that was a real rocket on the straights, it wasn’t the MP4/24 – it was the Force India VJM02 that was generally topping the speed traps and seemed to have a particularly low drag aero kit, hence why they were so competitive in Spa and Monza.

  15. Button is spot on!!!! Unfortunately Toto gets what he wants so his underperforming drivers get to stay. Great day when Toto leaves Mercedes.

  16. The under achiever wants to be on the same page as Hamilton. Irrelevant though.

    1. He took the title in the only car he had the chance to win in. Not like he ever had a car that his teammate won the title in so hardly a under achiever.

  17. Button beat Hamilton by overmanaging car and tyres, avoiding the conflict and waiting for him to run out of tyres ir crash.

    Hamilton was overusing the tyres trying to keep up with vettel,who was faster, Button, managing his to beat Hamilton.

    Hamilton was trying to win races and Button to be best of the rest.

    Button won 8 and Hamilton 10, and Hamilton should’ve won at least 4 more, Button none.

    1. 2012 Spa he got rammed out by Grosjean start incident, Valencia taken out by Maldonado from P2, Singapore gearbox issue from P1 , Abu Dhabi Fuel pressure from P1, Brazil taken out by Hulkenberg from P1

      He would easily have won 4 more if his car kept running.

      1. @f1osaurus and catalunya dsq from pole due to fuel.

        1. And started from the back and still beat

    2. If you watched all the races back then, you would be wondering what the strategist responsible for Hamilton’s car was thinking. Most of the time, he was looking out for were Massa was on track so he would position Hamilton behind him or deliberately pitting Hamilton too early to run in traffic. Hamilton kept on being surprised how he would start the race ahead then end up behind. It was a civil war at Mclaren back then and Withmarsh payed the price for what he allowed to fester in that team.

      1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        9th November 2020, 23:35

        +1 couldn’t have said it better – the term civil war would not be out of context.

      2. that goes for ’11 only.

  18. Well Button and Rosberg are a step above Bottas. Just enough of a step to make Lewis uncomfortable.

    1. @jureo Again, Button only looked “a step above” on the scoreboard, because Hamilton had so many technical issues. Hamilton could have won at least 4 more races in 2012 which all ended in a DNF for Hamilton because his car broke down. Or when Button put Hamilton into in the wall in Canada and went on to win the race.

      1. And things could have gone better for Button too over those years, the stats don’t lie.

        1. @slowmo Did button lose 4 wins in a season due to technical issues? Did he lose even one?

          The stats don’t lie, but they don’t show that Button was “pretty close” to Hamilton on actual racing.

          1. I’d say completely the opposite actually, how did Button get close to Hamilton on stats when being out qualified so often. He had better race pace.

          2. @slowmo sorry but Button wasn’t anywhere near Lewis in terms of pace. If you use points as a metric, then perhaps but what do points have to do with pace when Lewis is losing 100s of points and 2 championships (mostly caused by McLaren and Button). Even Button had to use 2 Brazil 2012 and Canada 2011, both races that Lewis would have won with days between them. Button the self-proclaimed rain master? Ha-ha-ha! Don’t get me wrong – he’s a good driver but nowhere near Lewis’ level. It’d be a battle royale between him and Bottas.

          3. Again making up scenarios doesn’t change the facts. Ifs, buts and could haves don’t cut it. The points matter, that’s why they decide championships. Perhaps even though Verstappen and Leclerc have less point this year and last year we should call them better drivers than Hamilton because suddenly points don’t matter.

          4. Hamilton was clearly faster on raw pace. However:

            “Even Button had to use 2 Brazil 2012 and Canada 2011, both races that Lewis would have won with days between them”
            Hamilton was actually behind Button and had a DT waiting for spinning around Webber. In Brazil he actually led for some time and was what? 5 seconds behind Hamilton who was losing ground to both Button and Hulkenberg before he crashed out.

  19. Simple questions to all the racefans community: If you had an F1 team and you had the liberty and resources to choose a driver from the current grid, who would you go for?

    1. Leclerc would be my pick, he seems to have the pace of Verstappen but is calmer and more even tempered.

      Ricciardo would be my second favourite, Red Bull blew it letting him go.
      Verstappen just feels a destructive personality and the longer he goes without being WDC the more difficult he’ll become imo. Worth a punt if you want to run a 1 car team
      Hamilton will retire soon so no point going there
      Vettel has lost his edge it seems
      Sainz is a little shy on qualifying pace
      Norris and Russell would be great second drivers but not my goto for number 1

      Would probably not consider any other drivers left on the grid as they’re a bit below these.

    2. Jose Lopes da Silva
      10th November 2020, 11:13

      Verstappen is the reference for this generation. Just needs to learn when to shut up and let it go. I don’t have any doubt that, at a point when he is actually in contention for a title and not making up a huge deficit, I will take less risks and balance it more. He has a superb racecraft, let alone pace which was quite obvious from the very beginning. And he is clearly the best wet weather driver of the new generation – and perhaps of the entire grid.
      The strongest point about Verstappen that people never consider is the point people never consider about anyone, but that is vital: his psychological strenght. He has the skills, he knows it and in all these years he never cracked. The sequence he delivered after the warning he received in Monaco 2018 is the best evidence.

      1. I don’t doubt Verstappen’s ability but we’ll see what happens. In the wet he is better than Leclerc but I’m not sure on raw pace he’s faster though. Leclerc has made Vettel look very ordinary in the last 2 years and last year it was when the car was to Vettel’s taste unlike all the caveats this year. Verstappen is still largely unproven and I don’t consider him above Ricciardo at the moment.

        1. Jose Lopes da Silva
          10th November 2020, 19:57

          It will be interesting, sure. I can rebate with two arguments:
          – Vettel has looked ordinary since the beginning of the hybrid era.
          – Verstappen was the only teammate able to face Ricciardo, in what is a long list by now, including Vergne, Vettel, Kvyat, Hulkenberg and Ocon.

          You say Verstappen is largely unproven. And Ricciardo, is proven? (In my view, they’re both proven, but it depends on the definition of the concept.)

  20. “He beat me in qualifying,” recalled Button in an interview for The Collecting Cars Podcast. “He won more races than me. But I think I won eight, races, he won 10 races, so it was pretty close.

    Well it helps if you gained the lead because of Hamilton retiring. Perhaps “pretty close” in results, but not actually “pretty close” on actual driving.

  21. Hamilton’s Titles

    2014&15 Against Rosberg in the same car>>>
    2008 Against Massa & Raikkonen in a slightly slower car>>>
    2017&18&19&20&21 Against Bottas in the same car

    1. Dave (@davewillisporter)
      9th November 2020, 18:14

      2022 against Russell in the same car?

    2. 2008 against kov, Massa, Raik –even Kubica was in contention until the penultimate race—F2008 probably fastest car
      2017 and 2018 against Bottas and Vettel and Raik in comparable cars

  22. Rossberg did not push Hamilton. He was given the championship by Mercedes management. That’s why he retired so quickly.

  23. It really was not that close tho Hamilton lost like 4 wins in 2012 in the lead alone. Button won Canada by taking out Ham, even admits was wrong to blame Lewis. Also Hulkenberg who took out Lewis in Brazil JB got gifted the win. It could easily of been like 15 or 16/6 half of Button wins 4 must of been in the wet. Sure it is a good quality to have but a season is mainly dry Button very rarely outpaced Lewis in the dry. I know who i am taking in 4 years together of Lewis and JB at RedBull. I am taking 4 World titles for Lewis. Infact with what we know of Vet these days, would Alo or Lewis actually of beat JB in Seb’s place at Redbull in 09? It would be interesting for sure. Hamilton lapped Button one year with no problems for Button.

    1. So there was no problem when Button got lapped, he just forgot how to drive in a race that day did he???

      Some of the crap in this thread is ridiculous.

      1. @slowmo Well Button made a ton of (unneeded) pit stops when he was predicting the weather changes and got it wrong. So yeah he ended up a lap down.

        1. In for a penny once things have gone wrong. Not like Hamilton didn’t blow a championship on not knowing when he should change tyres. Pit stops are a combination of driver and team and clearly they got it wrong that time like they also did with Hamilton. If you blame Button for that then that China failure is on Hamilton along with the title loss.

  24. I think the argument is valid, has Lewis got better or has his team mate got weaker? We would only know if Rosberg remained.

  25. I’d rate Rosberg a better, smarter driver than Bottas. Plus Rosberg’s whip smart and savvy with people where Bottas is a bit clumsy in that regard. Reports from within the team suggest 2016 was marked by his having consciously upped his game on the obnoxiousness and needling fronts. I suspect Merc would find that unsettling as a team, probably let him know they would not tolerate it going forward, and he took his cue.

  26. I think that Rosberg was extremely talented but underestimated due to his younger babyish face. He beat Hammy in a semi fair fight and moved on for the truly important things in life…..family!

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