Alonso more of a challenge than Hamilton was: Button

Thu Nov 26, 2015 5:35pm EST
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By Alan Baldwin

ABU DHABI (Reuters) - Jenson Button reckons Fernando Alonso is proving to be a tougher team mate than Lewis Hamilton was in their time together at McLaren.

"In a race? (Alonso is) a bigger challenge, a more consistent challenge. He's always there," Button, the 2009 world champion, told reporters at the Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix on Thursday.

"On some race days, Lewis was untouchable, on other race days it was like 'where is he?'. Lewis is a different driver now, more experienced, but Fernando's always there, he's always competitive.

"If he's in front of you, you're holding on. And if he's behind you, he's pushing you along," said Button, who was replaced by Alonso at Renault in 2003.

Button and Hamilton, now a triple world champion, were team mates at McLaren for three years from 2010 until Hamilton switched to Mercedes.

Button remains the only team mate to have beaten Hamilton over a season, finishing second in 2011 when the younger Briton ended up fifth.

Hamilton is also the only one of Alonso's team mates to have beaten the Spaniard over the space of a year, ending his 2007 debut season ahead of the double champion on results after finishing level on points.

That record looks set to end this year, with Button currently five points clear of Alonso in their first year together at McLaren with only the final race at Yas Marina to come on Sunday.   Continued...

McLaren Formula One drivers Fernando Alonso (L) of Spain and Jenson Button of Britain attend a fan meeting at the Honda Motor Co's headquarters in Tokyo, Japan, September 23, 2015, ahead of Sunday's Japanese F1 Grand Prix.     REUTERS/Toru Hanai