Button and Hamilton unveil new McLaren

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The Independent Online

Formula One world champions Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton appeared together as team mates for the first time today to show off the new McLaren that they will use to fight each other this season.

Button, who won the 2009 championship with Brawn GP, now reborn as Mercedes, looked happy and relaxed as he stood alongside the sport's youngest champion, the 2008 winner who turned 25 this month.



"We need to start forgetting about last year...and looking to the future. And this is the future," said 30-year-old Button, lifting the covers off the sleek silver and red MP4-25 car with his number one on it.



Asked to comment on his new team mate, Hamilton grinned as Button whispered something.



"He says be nice," he said, giving the older Briton a friendly hug.



"I won my first ever championship on John (Button)'s engines," he said, referring to his team mate's father. "I always wanted to follow in Jenson's footsteps.



"I'm really looking forward to working with him for the rest of the year and years to come."



Speaking at the headquarters of title sponsor Vodafone, McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh quoted Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone, in saying "preparation is the key to success."



"We have prepared for this season more comprehensively than ever before," he declared.



McLaren are the first team to have the two most recent title-holders together in their line-up and the first with two champions since they had Alain Prost and the late Ayrton Senna were paired in a notoriously acrimonious 1989 partnership.



"Both drivers are clearly winners and want to win again this year," said Whitmarsh. "We expect an exciting season within our team."



In a nod to Mercedes, who will still provide McLaren's engines for the long term despite taking over Brawn, Whitmarsh added: "We know we must be at our best to beat the works team."



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