Button on team-mates, Ricky Bobby & numpties

Date published: December 4 2016

The newly retired Jenson Button says when it comes to qualifying Lewis Hamilton was his toughest team-mate but that Fernando Alonso came to the fore on grand prix Sundays.

Button raced in, probably, his final grand prix last Sunday in Abu Dhabi having conceded that his sabbatical is a retirement.

The Yas Marina race brought to an end a career that included one World title, 15 grand prix wins, 50 podiums and 11 team-mates.

Speaking to former F1 team boss Eddie Jordan in an interview for Top Gear, Button stated that Hamilton and Alonso had been his two toughest team-mates.

“You always look at your team-mate,” he said. “In qualifying, it’s probably Lewis.

“In a race situation, Fernando is the most difficult to beat… if you have a great race, Fernando is right on your ass, and you don’t know how he’s still there. And if he has a great race, he’s in front of you. It’s like he’s always there, you can’t get rid of him.”

As for the driver that he has tipped for future glory, Button replied: “Ricky Bobby – Daniel Ricciardo.

“Max is an amazing talent, and he will, I’m sure, be fighting for the World Championship one day, but I love the way that Daniel Ricciardo has upped his game this year.

“He’s the older driver, more experienced driver, but he hasn’t cracked under pressure, and I really like that about him. And he’s a good guy as well.”

The one question he would not give names for was the “numpties” that he had raced against.

“Biggest numpty? I’m not going to name any names,” he said. “Thing is, in F1 there are a lot fewer numpties, but when you come through the ranks there’s a lot of numpties.”