Jenson Button reckons he has had a tougher time against Fernando Alonso at McLaren than he had during his years racing alongside Lewis Hamilton.
Button has partnered both World Champions at McLaren, spending three years with Hamilton from 2010 to 2012 while this year is his first as Alonso’s team-mate.
And although Button lost to Hamilton in two of the three seasons whereas this year he is ahead of Alonso in the standings, he feels it is the Spaniard who poses the tougher challenge as a team-mate.
“In a race it is a bigger challenge, a more consistent challenge,” Button said of Alonso. “He is always there.
“On some race days Lewis was untouchable, and on other race days it was like ‘where is he?’.
“Lewis is a different driver now and more experienced, but Fernando is always there and always competitive.
“If he is in front of you, you are holding on, and if he is behind you, he is pushing you along. That is great and I like that. It is important in a team and it has definitely helped us this year.”
This Sunday Button could make history in Abu Dhabi if he stays ahead of Alonso in the standings – the double World Champion has never been beaten by a team-mate – but the Brit says he has bigger goals on which to focus.
“That is not the satisfying bit – next year will be a lot more interesting – but the bit I am happy about is that I feel I have done a good job with what I have been given.
“Working alongside Fernando has been great, and we do learn from each other a lot because we have both had such a long career in Formula One.
“We come together with all that experience and it really helps us with the limited running we have had this year. It has helped this team in terms of a direction for next year.
“Giving great feedback from two experienced drivers, that is what is going to move this team forward the most.”