Button and Hamilton both target home triumph under British rain

The rain tumbled down in sheets over Tower Bridge yesterday. "Beautiful day," said Jenson Button, deploying that effortless grin as he peered towards the Tower of London. "I've brought my girlfriend. She said to me – is this summer in England?"

Button and his McLaren team-mate Lewis Hamilton were soon spotted by a group of Italian tourists who heckled them good naturedly as they passed with cries of "Ferrari, Ferrari" before the rain drowned them out. The two Britons smiled. Bad weather is good news for them.

If conditions are similar at Silverstone this weekend there will not be two happier men than the home hopes; Hamilton looking for British Grand Prix win No 2 and Button his first. "Red Bull will be very difficult to beat," said Button, "but if it's mixed conditions or wet it gives us a better opportunity. We enjoy driving in the wet – we are both used to it!"

These two have form in the rain, although the forecast for the weekend offers only qualified encouragement; rain today and at tomorrow's vital qualifying session but for race day the prediction is all dry.

Hamilton's victory in 2008 came with a dazzling mastery of dreadful conditions as he finished 68 seconds clear of his pursuers. Afterwards Hamilton described it as his best-ever victory and it remains his pick of 15 Grand Prix wins. "It was very special," said Hamilton. "It was one of the worst conditions I have driven in and I don't really know how I managed to get round."

Button, who sits second in the world championship, albeit a distant 75 points behind the relentless Sebastian Vettel, enjoyed his sole win this season in the rain in Montreal last month. The Canadian Grand Prix was suspended for more than two hours – in all the race spanned four hours, the longest in Formula One history – with Button later splashing to victory. "It is not so good for fans sitting in it," said Button, "but in terms of our pace in the wet and in terms of result, wet weather could be good."

Both men, Button relaxed and chatty, Hamilton quieter and composed, claim to savour the week of their home race, even though it is their busiest of the calendar with the demands of sponsors – yesterday's photoshoot saw them beaming alongside London taxi drivers, windscreen wipers working furiously on the black cabs.

"I don't feel any pressure," said Button, convincingly. He compares how easy it feels to drive a Grand Prix as opposed to playing in a Wimbledon final – he was watching from the Royal Box on Sunday.

"You could feel the pressure on the finalists. We can sit there beneath our crash helmets and be at one with the car. It takes you away from the outside world."

Button's record in the British Grand Prix is one of frustration, last year he was half a second off securing a first podium place at the 11th attempt. "As a racing driver," he said, "you want to be world champion, win Monaco and win your home race and I haven't achieved that yet."

"The older races are more special," added Hamilton. "You grow up watching drivers create history and now you are living the dream. It's the biggest sporting event in this country."

The two, Button five years Hamilton's senior at 31, seem relaxed together. They discuss the driver relationship, a much-speculated area of any F1 team's affairs. "On the circuit you want to beat everyone," said Button. "Off it you have to work together. If there is fighting it causes a bad atmosphere among the team." Hamilton put it this way: "Sometimes there are personality clashes. In the past that has been the case but we get along very well."

Button unfurled that disarming grin again. "We're positive but you have also got to look at the previous race – Red Bull are very, very strong. But it's a different style of circuit and if the weather stays like this it will be one hell of a weekend."

Vodafone is rallying the public behind the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes F1 drivers ahead of the British Grand Prix. Vodafone VIP gives customers access to the best of British Formula One events. Register at www.vodafone.co.uk/vip

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Bryan Cranston as Walter White, in the acclaimed series 'Breaking Bad'
news
News
There have been various incidents of social media users inadvertently flouting the law
news

Sport
footballChelsea 6 Maribor 0: Blues warm up for Premier League showdown with stroll in Champions League
Life and Style
tech

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

News
Renee Zellweger as Bridget Jones
i100
Life and Style
Stack ‘em high?: quantity doesn’t always trump quality, as Friends of the Earth can testify
techThe proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Sport
CSKA Moscow celebrate after equalising with a late penalty
footballCSKA Moscow 2 Manchester City 2: Premier League champions let two goal lead slip in Russia
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
music
Life and Style
Designer Oscar de la Renta takes a bow after showing his Spring 2015 collection in September, his last show before his death
fashionThe passing of the legendary designer has left a vacancy: couturier to America’s royalty, says fashion editor Alexander Fury
News
Bourgogne wine maker Laboure-Roi vice president Thibault Garin (L) offers the company's 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the guest in the wine spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort facilities in Hakone town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 100-kilometre west of Tokyo
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are