McLaren’s Jenson Button has defended his team after former team-mate Lewis Hamilton criticised McLaren for being too demanding.
Hamilton has expressed his happiness at being allowed more time since his move to rival squad Mercedes.
But the 2009 world champion believes that it is necessary for McLaren to work a driver harder than other teams.
“Yeah, I was very surprised to hear that,” he said of Hamilton’s comments.
“The freedom you have in this team is phenomenal,” Button toldAutosport ahead of this weekend’s Australian Grand Prix.
“In this team, you work, you have to work and you work probably harder than you would in other teams in terms of sponsor requests and what have you. This is a Formula 1 team that is not a mass production manufacturer. You need big sponsors to exist in this sport for a team like McLaren and you need to understand that. Initially, when I came to this team it was a shock, it really was. After winning the world championship with Brawn I did six sponsor events throughout that year. You come here and it’s so much busier.”
Button also added that McLaren’s atmosphere is different to how it is perceived.
“I have heard so many rumours and read so much about the way this team is and it’s so far from the truth. It’s not like that. It is such an open, friendly team and a team that will do anything to help you if you have any issues.”