Hamilton and Button agree on rivals, but little else
The pair gave very different answers when asked who they wanted to win the title if they couldn’t
With the first Grand Prix of the season less than two weeks away and pre-season testing done and dusted there is evidence that McLaren, rather than initial pace-setters Ferrari, may have the best car - although McLaren's two superstar drivers have both identified at least five teams that can challenge them.
Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton struck a rare note of accord when they listed the manufacturers they see as their main challengers this year - before offering up more evidence of a less than harmonious relationship.
"You've got us, Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull, but you've also got Sauber. Force India are not far behind, and the Williams. So it's very, very competitive, which is good to see," said Button.
Hamilton took a similar view. "I think team-wise we've got us, Ferrari, Red Bull, Mercedes, Sauber and Force India. For me, these look like the most competitive teams," he declared.
But the pair weren't remotely on same page when asked if they would like their team-mate to win the title if they couldn't. Hamilton toed the party line admirably by saying that he would like to see Button win for the sake of the team and British sport.
But Hamilton's face was a picture when he learnt the response of Button, who had been asked the same question earlier on. The current F1 world champ said that if wasn't going to win then he didn't care who did, prompting a shrug and a smirk from Hamilton.
It was Hamilton who posted the fastest time at the final pre-season tests in Barcelona last week, but he was just 0.067 seconds quicker than the Ferrari and Red Bull cars. However, the McLaren appeared to perform significantly better than its rivals on the longer runs, suggesting it may fare well when the races begin.
The first race of the season takes place in Bahrain on March 14. ·
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