Button a top class F1 racer - Schumacher

Michael Schumacher does not agree that 2009 championship leader and favourite Jenson Button can be likened to a stationary concrete roadside post. Renault boss Flavio Briatore, who led Schumacher to his first drivers' titles with Benetton in the...

Michael Schumacher does not agree that 2009 championship leader and favourite Jenson Button can be likened to a stationary concrete roadside post.

Renault boss Flavio Briatore, who led Schumacher to his first drivers' titles with Benetton in the 90s, made the "paracarro" jibe about the Briton amid the recent double diffuser dispute.

When Button raced for Benetton/Renault early in his F1 career, his then team boss Briatore remarked that he was racing so slowly around Monaco that he seemed to be scouting for a new apartment.

But retired seven time world champion Schumacher, who for seven years until 2006 shared the F1 circuits with the now 29-year-old Brawn driver, made clear in an interview with the Daily Telegraph that Button is no slouch.

"When Jenson arrived in F1 you could see straight away that he was highly talented. He was outqualifying and sometimes outracing his teammate," said Michael, referring to his younger brother Ralf, who in 2000 also raced for Williams with three years of experience behind him.

"If you see a driver (Ralf) who has some experience and a new kid comes in and straight away matches the pace, then you see that they are highly talented," Schumacher added.

The German said Button subsequently found his feet with BAR/Honda, including beating Schumacher's pacesetting Ferrari to pole at Imola in 2004.

"When I saw that I could tell very clearly how good he was. He showed that when he has a package that is built around him with the ability he has then he can be absolutely top level," Schumacher insisted.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jenson Button , Michael Schumacher , Flavio Briatore
Teams Ferrari , Williams , Benetton