Button: F1 needs Hamilton to have a more challenging teammate

Jenson Button believes Formula 1 needs Lewis Hamilton to be paired with a more challenging teammate at Mercedes before he will stop winning world championships.

Button: F1 needs Hamilton to have a more challenging teammate

Hamilton can clinch a record-equalling seventh F1 drivers’ title in Turkey this weekend, having dominated the 2020 season with nine wins in 13 races.

Teammate Valtteri Bottas is the only driver who can still beat Hamilton to the title, but saw his hopes of a maiden championship fade through the season, scoring just two wins.

2009 F1 world champion Button is one of only two drivers to have beaten Hamilton as a teammate across the course of a season. The duo spent three seasons together at McLaren from 2010 to 2012, with Button beating Hamilton in the standings in 2011.

Button felt it was hard to say where Hamilton stood among F1’s greats due to the difficulty in comparing eras, but doubted his tally of wins or championships would stop growing unless he faces a sterner challenge at Mercedes.

“Comparing records is a tricky one,” Button told Motorsport.com. “We all like a number and we all like to beat a number, but it’s really difficult to compare.

“All you can say is he’s done the best job he can and the team have done a fantastic job, they’ve not been beaten in the hybrid era and Lewis has won all but one championship with them.

“I don’t see that changing either. It’s going to continue until he stops, or until he gets a teammate that can actually challenge him.

“He’s definitely learned from his teammates, and he’s definitely a more rounded driver than when we were teammates. But if he had a teammate like Max [Verstappen], we would see a different driver from Lewis.

“He needs to have that challenge, otherwise he’ll just keep doing the same thing and he’s going to keep winning the championship.

“He needs somebody that’s going to challenge him and Mercedes. You can’t blame them because it’s easier if they’ve got one guy who is quicker than the other.

“I know Valtteri gets close in qualifying and sometimes outqualifies him, but race pace compared to Lewis this year, he’s nowhere near him.”

Read Also:

Bottas joined Mercedes in 2017 following Nico Rosberg’s sudden retirement, and is contracted with the team until the end of next year.

George Russell and Esteban Ocon are both members of Mercedes’ young driver programme, and have been linked with Bottas’s seat in the future.

But Button felt only Verstappen, Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo were currently capable of taking the challenge to Hamilton as team-mates at Mercedes.

“I don’t think George is ready to be up against Lewis yet, there aren’t many drivers that are,” Button said.

“Max, Charles and Daniel Ricciardo - that’s it I reckon, those are the guys that are ready to challenge Lewis.

“I’d love to see Danny Ric up against Lewis, because I think he would mentally hurt Lewis a lot.

“He would be quick and he would laugh everything off, he would be so relaxed, so down to earth, he’s a proper character and I know that most drivers would find that difficult."

shares
comments

Related video

Kvyat vows to "keep pushing" despite worries on F1 future

Previous article

Kvyat vows to "keep pushing" despite worries on F1 future

Next article

How will F1’s 2023 salary cap work?

How will F1’s 2023 salary cap work?
Load comments
The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest Prime

The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest

Despite appearing to adjust to life as a Ferrari driver with relative ease, it was far from straightforward under the surface for Carlos Sainz. But, having made breakthroughs in rather different routes at the Russian and Turkish races, he’s now targeting even greater feats for the rest of the Formula 1 season

The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team Prime

The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team

Emerson Fittipaldi is better remembered for his Formula 1 world championships and Indianapolis 500 successes than for the spell running his eponymous F1 team. Despite a hugely talented roll call of staff, it was a period of internal strife, limited funding and few results - as remembered by Tim Wright.

Formula 1
Oct 18, 2021
Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence Prime

Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence

In the 1960s and 1970s, McLaren juggled works entries in F1, sportscars and the Indy 500 while building cars for F3 and F2. Now it’s returning to its roots, expanding into IndyCars and Extreme E while continuing its F1 renaissance. There’s talk of Formula E and WEC entries too. But is this all too much, too soon? Stuart Codling talks to the man in charge.

Formula 1
Oct 17, 2021
How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential Prime

How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential

Yuki Tsunoda arrived in grand prix racing amid a whirlwind of hype, which only increased after his first race impressed the biggest wigs in Formula 1. His road since has been rocky and crash-filled, and OLEG KARPOV asks why Red Bull maintains faith in a driver who admits he isn’t really that big a fan of F1?

Formula 1
Oct 15, 2021
The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages Prime

The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages

OPINION: After Lewis Hamilton responded to reports labelling him 'furious' with Mercedes following his heated exchanges over team radio during the Russian Grand Prix, it provided a snapshot on how Formula 1 broadcasting radio snippets can both illuminate and misrepresent the true situation

Formula 1
Oct 14, 2021
How F1’s pole winner approach undermines drivers Prime

How F1’s pole winner approach undermines drivers

OPINION: Valtteri Bottas is credited with pole position for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, despite being beaten in qualifying. This is another example of Formula 1 and the FIA scoring an own goal by forgetting what makes motorsport magic, with the Istanbul race winner also a victim of this in the championship’s recent history

Formula 1
Oct 13, 2021
Turkish Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Turkish Grand Prix driver ratings

On a day that the number two Mercedes enjoyed a rare day in the sun, the Turkish Grand Prix produced several standout drives - not least from a driver who has hit a purple patch of late

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021
The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for Turkey glory Prime

The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for Turkey glory

Starting 11th after his engine change grid penalty, Lewis Hamilton faced a tough task to repeat his Turkish Grand Prix heroics of 2020 - despite making strong early progress in the wet. Instead, his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas broke through for a first win of the year to mitigate Max Verstappen re-taking the points lead

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021