Daniel Ricciardo has named Jenson Button as one of his underrated Formula 1 drivers predominantly because of his performances against Lewis Hamilton in 2011.
The two British World Champions spent three seasons together at McLaren-Mercedes and Ricciardo, in a diary entry shared via his social media channels, feels the 2011 season where Button outscored Hamilton by 270 points to 227 was the time when we saw the 2009 champion at his very best.
“How can a World Champion be underrated?” Ricciardo said. “Well…hear me out.
“Jenson had some big years in F1, but I think 2011 when he was team-mates with Lewis Hamilton at McLaren and beat him fair and square – that’s no easy feat as we all know – was what gets him onto my list.
“He beat him on ‘real’ circuits like Suzuka, and his race pace that year…he was at his best in 2011, I reckon.”
Ricciardo also hailed Button’s approach to Formula 1 racing and reserved special praise for his dramatic victory in one of the best Formula 1 races of all time.
He added: “Jenson did it different to most of the others, too. He had a good crew around him, was low-key, low-maintenance and just a silky, smooth operator.
“He’s still the best I’ve seen in those not-quite-wet, not-quite-dry conditions, that sketchy weather. And that win in Canada 2011 – two races before I started my career, actually – was one of the best F1 races ever.”