Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button
Formula One champion Jenson Button has signed to drive alongside Lewis Hamilton in an all-English line-up at McLaren next season. Is this the right move?
The world champion's move from the Brawn team was announced on Wednesday. He described it as a "difficult decision" but added: "Life is about challenges."
McLaren will be the first team to start a season with the last two world champions as their drivers and in new team-mate Hamilton, Button will be competing against a man many regard as the fastest driver in F1.
BBC 606 has been asking for readers' views on the move. Please find a selection of these comments below.
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This is good news. We shall have a British team with two British champions and Brawn GP will become a German team with two very good drivers in Nico Rosberg and Nick Heidfeld. Nick Heidfield is very underrated in the UK but he is a good skilful driver with a lot of experience and is a master tactician. With a good car, he will do well.
I would suspect that Hamilton is thinking that all his Christmases have come at once. He must have been dreading the prospect of Raikkonen being there. Out of all the drivers touted as moving to McLaren, Button is the one he would have wanted. He is no threat whatsoever to Hamilton and Hamilton will dominate that team next season. It doesn't take an expert in motor racing to see that if a team believes that a driver is special they will pay the driver's salary request. Button does not fall into that category and I don't think Mercedes really rate him that highly. Alonso, Raikkonen and Hamilton do fall into that category hence their huge wages. I think Brawn and Mercedes were prepared to pay him what they thought he was worth. He will be two seasons at McLaren, will flop and his career at that point will probably be nearing its end.
I am disgusted at what Brawn have done and amazed at the criticism Button is getting. Far from Button being the "greedy playboy" which some are branding him, it is Ross Brawn who has been greedy and sold his soul to Mercedes, who have dumped Button. Button was reportedly offered £3m per annum to stay at Brawn and has accepted a reported £15m over three years from McLaren - the same as Hamilton gets in one year. This is derisory for a world champion. We have had this before with British champions James Hunt, Nigel Mansell and Damon Hill. In fact, Hamilton is the only British World Champion since Jackie Stewart who has been treated fairly.
Has anyone else noticed that McLaren have got a bit of a bargain by signing Jenson? Due to Brawn/Mercedes trying to bid him down so far, McLaren have probably got him cheaper than they probably thought they could've in a different situation.
The announcement was only a matter of time. Mercedes had no interest in offering Jenson Button a salary worthy of a reigning world champion. Now he has to prove himself against Lewis - gulp! I think he'll do surprisingly well. McLaren know better than any of us, they wouldn't have paid the money if they didn't think he could do the job. Now we have a great 2010 to look forward too. If only Kimi could have taken a pay cut, I'm sure Mercedes would have liked steady hand, a proven race/world championship winner.
With Mercedes taking over at Brawn and the prospect of diminishing interests in McLaren, I wonder if Button might yet regret such a move from what is clearly a very competitive team and now has the full support of one of the remaining manufacturers? It will be fascinating to watch him up against Hamilton but it is likely that he would have found it easier to dominate a team mate with his recent World Championship winning team.
I just hope that they can work together, and I don't see why they can't. This is a very different situation to the Alonso debacle, where Lewis's speed and competitiveness took everyone but him (well, maybe even him) by surprise. Both drivers have both eyes open and it should be good to watch. Now what other "X would beat Y" pairings are there? We need to get these things sorted.
I think it's a bad decision by Button. I don't think Hamilton will trounce him, but I do expect Hamilton to beat him. Over the course of an entire season I can't see Button beating Hamilton. I also think that Button might struggle with the whole 'Hamilton GP' aspect and retreat into his shell if things get difficult and turn in performances like he was doing in the mid part of this season. That was fine with a team mate like Barrichello, but with Hamilton he could be made to look a bit silly. It is all speculation obviously so no one will no entirely until Melbourne.
Awesome matchup. Two drivers with different styles. Will be interesting to see how they fare from race to race. Hopefully Button with a world championship under his belt will be less inclined to go into his shell. I think that and working with Hamilton will make him more relaxed as well with the rivalry likely to be less intense and more productive.