Button and Hamilton forced into bet on who'll come out on top
Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton were today challenged by an 11 year old boy to arrange a bet between themselves as to who will come out on top in ...
Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton were today challenged by an 11 year old boy to arrange a bet between themselves as to who will come out on top in the world championship.
The challenge, from 11 year old Carl Hillis, came during a press conference organised by British GP sponsor Santander, which I was hosting. The event took place at Great Ormond Street Hospital and Carl has been a patient there most of his life. He is writing an article for the hospital magazine and wanted to know what the loser would have to do if he lost.
Jenson and Lewis agreed that they should have a wager on the outcome and asked Carl what he suggested. He said that the loser, "Should flush his head down the loo!" which cracked Button up. Somehow I think they will come up with something less onerous.
There was another funny moment when I asked the pair about their relationship, given that many people seem to think it will break down at some point. I asked if there were any signs yet that the current pairing of two world champions was heading the way of the ill fated partnership between Senna and Prost.
Hamilton said that it all looked so friendly between them because they are such good actors. "We're going to Hollywood next," shouted Button.
"He's going to Hollywood, I'm going to Bollywood," said Hamilton.
The pair spoke about the race this weekend, about the major upgrade McLaren is bringing in the form of a blown diffuser and about the sense of calm confidence in the team at the moment.
"I think if you saw the last race, a few cars had new parts and mostly this special blown diffuser that Red Bull rocked up with at the start of the season," Button said. "They have been working on their update kits and they are a race ahead of us. They came out very strong but I still think we did a very good job in Valencia to get two cars on the podium."
They also responded to Damon Hill's assertion that Button is the tortoise and Hamilton the hare in this relationship.
"It’s very interesting to know how past world champions talk about the present drivers, " said Hamilton through clenched teeth. "We’ll see if it’s true or not and if they know what they’re talking about."
I've seen the pair of them behind closed doors and the relationship is good. There is no doubt that they both realise that to feud would be counterproductive. When the pressure is on at the end of the season, then thinsg might get a little more tense, but Button's laid back character and ability to take it on the chin when a team mate is faster certainly helps smooth things along.
Damon Hill is the latest in a string of people to suggest that the love-in will end soon, but I've not seen a trigger for a break down in relations yet.
McLaren will face stiff opposition from Red Bull this weekend - this is a circuit which will really suit the Red Bull car and Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber are both mighty around Silverstone. It should be a fantastic scrap for pole and the win.
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