British newspaper the Telegraph has published an excerpt of the book Jenson Button’s “Life To The Limit” on the relationship with Lewis Hamilton during their performances for McLaren-Mercedes.
“In 2007, began the ascent of rookie Lewis Hamilton at McLaren. Press entertained herself by asking me about Lewis: how I assess his chances, what you think about it… Then I have chosen to be a diplomat, but of course I didn’t. Why? It’s simple: people went crazy for the British racer, but it wasn’t me.
Lewis came very close to the title in 2007 and in 2008 still became world champion. It hurt me to see it, but not due to the fact that I was jealous of him. We were both British, and our careers were similar: in the end, my father set up the engines on his maps. I knew that if you get at least polochans, it can’t be worse than him.
In 2009 (at the end of this year, Jensen became a world champion) I have had my eye on the car McLaren wanted to become a partner Lewis. You can come up with all sorts of reasons why I wanted to be with him in the team, but it only comes down to one thing: I was an athlete. I wanted to compare myself to the fastest driver on the grid. I wanted to know if I will be able to get ahead of him.
Lewis is very warm and made me feel welcome on the team. He was probably confident in his status in the team and did not think that he will have to prove their superiority.
In the middle of our first joint season I was ahead of Lewis on points. I’m sure he didn’t like the fact that ahead of his teammate. However it is as an athlete. Sure he enjoyed the rivalry as I am. He had no problem with me, but its something annoying. I don’t think he liked me. In Turkey, when we nearly collided on the highway, the situation has worsened.
We were on the way to winning the double. At the end of the race I got closer to him, reducing the gap to one second. I honestly say that I didn’t know what radio he was told to conserve fuel. When I approached, he said on the radio: “Jenson’s closing in on me. If I let it go, he’ll beat me or not?”
He replied: “No, Lewis, no”.
But I didn’t know it at the time and slipped it on. He got angry and attacked me: we drove side by side 13-th and 14-th turns. At the finish between us would not fit and credit card. At one point, could’ve been a contact, in which we have both departed. Nevertheless, Lewis managed to overtake me and win the race.
The media wrote that on the catwalk we were cold towards each other. On the podium Lewis approached me and asked: “You overtook me in spite of team orders?”
God, I can hear it from the winner of the race.
“No, – I replied. – I have not overtaken you, contrary to orders. I was not forbidden to overtake you.”
It made him think that the team took my side. Although apart from the racing engineers of all other members of the team did not care who comes first and who second.
It was a strange and unwanted situation. As you can see, we not only smiled at each other. Relations with Lewis were friendly, but we were never best friends.”
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