McLaren boss Whitmarsh defends Button

By on Thursday, September 8, 2011

Jenson Button. Photo credit: Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh has defended Jenson Button.

The 2009 world champion is pushing his British employer to trigger the option in his contract for next season, amid reports Whitmarsh would actually like to sign him up for a much longer term.

Some observers, however, are wondering why McLaren does not go onto the market for a new teammate for Lewis Hamilton, with Mercedes' Nico Rosberg for example still yet to get a true top car.

"Jenson, like Fernando (Alonso), is battle hardened and experienced, but becoming a little more relaxed, intelligent and very cool in the cockpit," Briton Whitmarsh told Die Welt newspaper when asked about his countryman.

"There are people who feel he does not give everything, or risk everything, but I ask the question: how then have we seen from him this year things like Hungary, Canada and Belgium?"

Whitmarsh suggested that - with Button - Hamilton and Alonso are among the best drivers in F1 at present.

"All three are absolutely brilliant, each in his way. It is hard to compare them," he told the German newspaper, "just as you can't compare Picasso with van Gogh."

Asked, however, if he feels his career is missing something without a world championship, Mark Webber used the example of Button to point out that titles are not everything.

"Yes it would be great to have a world championship," the Australian told The National newspaper, "but I have many special victories against tough competition.

"Unfortunately, when I got myself in a good car, I had Sebastian (Vettel) as a teammate.

"Jenson didn't have that at Brawn; he had Rubens (Barrichello), so there are a lot of one-championship drivers that have had a phenomenal car, but no real competition," added Webber.

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