Button ready to work with Hamilton

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The Independent Online

World champion Jenson Button insists he and Lewis Hamilton must work closely if either of them are to mount a serious challenge for this year's title as he prepares to meet his fellow Briton for the first time as McLaren team-mates.

Button has been derided for his controversial decision to leave the team he won the title with last year - Mercedes (formerly Brawn GP) - for McLaren, where he will partner 2008 world champion Hamilton.



McLaren maintain both drivers will be treated equally this season but some in the sport believe Button will end up playing second fiddle to Hamilton, who is regarded as a better prospect for the title.



The two will meet at the team's base in Woking for the first time as team-mates today and Button is adamant the pair can develop a close relationship that will pay dividends at the end of the season.



"I'm going to be spending quite a lot of time with Lewis over the next couple of months before the first race and I'm looking forward to working with him," said Button at the launch of iPhone on Vodafone in the UK.



"He has a lot of experience in Formula One, good and bad experiences in this sport so I think both of us with our experience can help this team move forward.



"We both understand that we have to work closely together to make anything happen this year.



"To be competitive you need the interest of both drivers and the focus of both drivers so I'm really looking forward to it."



Button, who turned 30 yesterday, put his birthday celebrations on hold to focus on preparations for the new season in the team's simulator at Woking.



He will have to wait until next month to drive McLaren's new car during four test sessions in Spain.



Button thinks the 2010 season promises to be one of the most exciting in history with four world champions among those competing for the world title.



Fans will be relishing the prospect of watching Button, Hamilton, Fernando Alonso and seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher, lock horns in their quest for glory and Somerset-born Button is no different.



"For me 2010 is going to be an awesome year in Formula One, I don't think I need to name all the drivers," said Button.



"I have a feeling that Michael (Schumacher) will be ready and fit for action.



"He has achieved that much in motor racing that he wouldn't be coming back into the sport unless he thinks he can be competitive so he'll be up there.



"You have to congratulate Ross Brawn for bringing him back into the sport. No other team principal could have done that. I'm really looking forward to racing with Michael and I think 2010 will be an epic season in Formula One."



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