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Jenson Button will work with Lewis Hamilton for wins

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Exclusive interview - Jenson Button

Jenson Button insists he will work closely with his team-mate Lewis Hamilton to help McLaren regain the Formula 1 championships next season.

The 2009 world champion is expecting tough competition from 2008 winner Hamilton but says internal team rivalry must not hinder their title chances.

"We'll be fierce rivals on the circuit," Button told the BBC.

"But to be quick and to fight for the world championships we need to work together - and that's what we'll do."

After winning both championships last year with Brawn, who will race as Mercedes after a buy-out by the German car manufacturer, Button said he chose to move to McLaren for a fresh challenge.

That decision has been widely criticised but Button, who celebrated his 30th birthday on Tuesday, believes having a strong team-mate is an advantage to his title-winning ambitions.

"Lewis has gained a lot of experience in his short career in F1 and so have I," added Button.

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"It's been negative and positive for both of us and if we bring it together we'll be a lot stronger package this season.

"I wouldn't have won the world championship without Rubens Barrichello [Brawn team-mate].

"We built the car up, we pushed for improvements, we worked together as a team and you see what happens at the end of the year.

"The only way of changing that is by working hard at the start of the year."

After seeing his title defence crushed by Brawn's early season dominance, Hamilton is intent on winning back the crown from his English rival.

McLaren are also hopeful their all-English pairing can win the constructors' crown for the first time since 1998.

Whilst accepting that there will ultimately be one driver who gets more out of the McLaren car on the track, Button is adamant that the team will not favour either driver - despite the fact that Hamilton has been with team since he was 13 years old.

Whatever happens this year happens, but first of all we need to work together to be competitive

Jenson Button

"We will have exactly the same backing and support to achieve what we hope to achieve," stated Button.

"Whatever happens this year happens, but first of all we need to work together to be competitive.

"We really do need to work closely together, and Lewis understands that as well. It's an exciting partnership.

"We'll have a close relationship and will work in the same direction. "

For now, Button is focused on settling into his new team before he gets behind the wheel of the McLaren MP4-25 on 3 February during the opening winter test in Valencia.

Having started his contract with McLaren on 1 January, Button has spent a week away training in Finland before moving into the simulator at the team's Woking factory.

"Before I came to the team I didn't really know what to expect and I think we all struggle with change a little bit," he added. "But so far the time I've spent with the team has been great.

"I can work with my engineers in the simulator and I have a really good relationship with Jakob (Andreasen) and Dave (Robson).

"So it's been a good start and a good base to the relationship for this season."



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see also
I've never been hungrier - Button
18 Jan 10 |  Formula 1
Hamilton 'won't blow away Button'
15 Jan 10 |  Formula 1
Button not fazed by Irvine jibe
08 Jan 10 |  Formula 1
Button and Hamilton wary on hopes
04 Jan 10 |  Formula 1
Button joins Hamilton at McLaren
18 Nov 09 |  Formula 1


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