Button surprised by Hamilton’s McLaren criticisms
McLaren driver Jenson Button says former teammate Lewis Hamilton
could not be more wrong in his criticisms of the team and how it
treats its drivers.
Hamilton, who switched to Mercedes this season, has said several
times since his move that his new team gives drivers more freedom,
puts fewer demands upon them for sponsorship appearances and allows
them more time to themselves.
”I was very, very surprised to hear that,” Button said
Thursday when asked about Hamilton’s comments. ”The freedom I have
in this team is phenomenal.
”It’s so not like that. It’s a very open team, free team, and a
team that will do anything for you.”
Button said that McLaren, unlike Mercedes, cannot use massive
revenues from its road car sales to bankroll its F1 operations and
therefore needs to work harder to cultivate and retain
”In this team, you work, you have to work, and perhaps harder
than in other teams,” Button said. ”Initially when I came to the
team, it was a shock. You learn to understand, to adapt – that is
As hard as McLaren may work for its sponsors, they have lost
their biggest one, with the team confirming Thursday that title
sponsor Vodafone will leave at the end of this season.
The team said a new major sponsor had been decided and would be
announced at the end of the season.
Among the potential replacement sponsors are Honda – with
speculation growing that the Japanese manufacturer will return as
an F1 engine supplier next season – and Mexican communications
group Telmex – which currently sponsors Sauber but may be lured to
follow driver Sergio Perez to McLaren.