“He was in a way naive when it came to building a team around himself”– Jenson Button points out a big demerit in Lewis Hamilton.
The 2009 world champion joined forces with the 2008 world champion in McLaren, with the Woking-based team intending to build a force to reckon with, but it remained unsuccessful amidst the Red Bull’s dominant years.
However, when Jenson Button first came to McLaren, he clearly stated that he wanted to be treated equally with Lewis Hamilton; 11 years down to the line, Button claims his compatriot Hamilton was pretty naive when it came to team building around him.
“That was the first thing I said when I walked in the door: Is this Lewis’ team or are we being treated the same? They said we would be treated the same and I just said: Where should I sign?” said Button.
“For Lewis, it was strange that I came into his team and was equal. Lewis is pretty straightforward when it comes to driving but he was in a way naive when it came to building a team around himself.”
“You have to make sure you surround yourself with good people on the team. Be a team player, take the boys to dinner. The little things count. People have to think you care.”
“Lewis didn’t do that at the beginning because he was so fast. He thought that he didn’t have to do anymore but now he is a complete package. For George, it’s completely different now than it was in our time,” explained Button.
Lewis Hamilton has everything to lose
A decade ago, when Hamilton was paired with all the megastars, he had nothing to lose against them; it is rare when the drivers win their first championship in their second running season.
— Karel👹 (@JimCIark) September 19, 2021
So it was upon those superstars to prove that they still dare to take against this young sensation. However, the roles have reversed here, with George Russell deemed a star in making and Hamilton having his decorated career, a sensational performance by Russell can change everything.
Though neither Russell had the breakthrough start like Hamilton, nor the seven-time world champion lacks any determination even while going into 2022. Thus, it will be tough for the 23-year-old to overcome the challenge of beating Hamilton.