F1

Lewis Hamilton is good for F1 and can be beaten but a move to Ferrari could end his career

Jenson Button is perfectly placed to decide whether Lewis Hamilton’s dominance of Formula One can be dented, given that he not only raced alongside the five-time world champion at McLaren, but beat him. In the 2011 season, he finished with 270 points to his rival’s 227, and remains convinced that Hamilton is not above another challenge on Sunday, perhaps from Red Bull’s remarkable 21-year-old, Max Verstappen.

“He is beatable,” Button says. “It would be interesting to see Max and Lewis in equal equipment. Christian Horner’s comments about his own driver being the best in the world are probably not that far off the mark.”

At 39, Button leads a starkly different life to his former adversary these days, having swapped F1 for GT racing in Japan. As team-mates, the two were never openly hostile, but there was seldom much closeness, with Button’s sunny, wisecracking demeanour at odds with Hamilton’s sullen side.

Later, Button, champion in 2009 for Brawn, would come to describe Hamilton as “a bit weird”, acknowledging: “I don’t think I was to his taste, to be honest.” Today, he appears far more accepting of the younger man’s differences. “Deep down inside, Lewis is a good kid. You can sit down and have a one-to-one with him. What I see on social media now is very different to the Lewis I knew as his team-mate.

“He seems to enjoy things others don’t. He likes his fashion now, but he didn’t when I was working with him. His social media posts are all about fashion, and that is unusual from a driver, but he is happy to be different. He is a personality and it has helped F1, particularly in America.”





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