I'd be happy for Button to win British GP, claims Hamilton

One of them admits that he will be bitterly disappointed if he does not add victory in the British Grand Prix on Sunday to his list of accomplishments; the other says that second place would not trouble him too much so long as he leaves Silverstone still in the lead of the World Championship.

No prizes, of course, for identifying the McLaren drivers, Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton.

"It's a big blank in my career," Button admitted of his failure thus far to have won at home. "Lewis and I have both won the Monaco Grand Prix and the World Championship, but he has the British Grand Prix on me. I love this place, I really do. And I'm going to have a good race."

Perhaps the reigning world champion is just saying that to keep himself fully boosted ahead of the race in which "England expects", but the sentiments sound as genuine as his insistence all week that he and Hamilton get on just fine, thanks, despite everyone's expectation that they really cannot be fighting for the world championship yet be as pally as they appear.

For the first time yesterday, the strain showed in a week when their words have been hashed and dished every which way, with additional comment from the likes of Damon Hill, Mark Webber and Red Bull team principal Christian Horner thrown in for good measure. In the main press conference, Button and Hamilton were clearly bored with all the hoopla, and it wasn't hard to blame them.

"I just can't wait to get out on the track, and to get things going," Button declared, his notably easygoing manner nevertheless intact.

Yesterday, the duo travelled to the circuit by camper van, as part of a media stunt in which they handed out grandstand tickets to surprised punters. "There was one guy with a caravan who was really miserable, though," Hamilton smiled. "I offered him tickets and he just grunted, 'no thanks'."

Cannily, Hamilton let Button do most of the driving in the four-speed, 50mph vehicle from McLaren's headquarters in Woking.

Hamilton is, of course, the one who can afford to take a slightly more relaxed view of the weekend because he's already won this race, back in 2008. "It didn't shape my career," he said, "but it was something I really wanted to achieve, and I got it ticked off. It was incredible, because it was raining and I think I lapped everybody up to third place. I'd say that was one of my best-ever races."

He is, he says, determined to win if he can. But if he can't, if he ends up second, it would be less of a disappointment to him than it would be to Button. "We really want to be first and second," he said. "But neither of us is going to do something stupid and take ourselves out. Of course I'll be racing to win, and I'm not saying that I won't be, but I won't be complaining if I finish second. The world championship is the most important thing to me."

His arch-rival, Fernando Alonso, admitted yesterday that Ferrari needed to take as many as possible of the 75 points available for winning the three races before Formula One's summer break. Hamilton, however, said: "He has his own way of focusing on the championship. I'm just looking at the 25 points available this weekend. That's the way I work."

While Button and Hamilton were running out of different ways to say the same thing, F1 rights holder Bernie Ecclestone had plenty to say to the Italian paper Gazetta dello Sport on the subject of the amount of sponsorship identification teams were permitted to display in the paddock, and the suggestion that the teams' organisation Fota, which was at the heart of controversial action here last year when it announced its intention to launch a breakaway championship, no longer had a valid place in the sport.

Teams were warned about excessive displays in Canada, and have been ordered this weekend to remove their tractor units from the paddock because of the sponsorship branding each displays.

"It will never work because it is made by teams that fight against each other on the tracks," Ecclestone said in relation to Fota.

"When the teams examine rules, everyone tries to get an advantage. The teams wanted to divide F1, but now they understand that it is good to give importance to the money that they get [from Formula One]. There is no space for Fota..."

Ecclestone had previously denied any involvement in the row over sponsorship branding, claiming it was a matter between the teams and Allsport, who manage trackside advertising.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
video
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Southern charm: Nicolas Cage and Tye Sheridan in ‘Joe’
filmReview: Actor delivers astonishing performance in low budget drama
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Up my street: The residents of the elegant Moray Place in Edinburgh's Georgian New Town
tvBBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past
Extras
indybest
News
Albus Dumbledore, the headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry has been the teaching profession's favourite teacher
education
Sport
Luis Suarez looks towards the crowd during the 2-1 victory over England
sport
Life and Style
Cheesecake frozen yoghurt by Constance and Mathilde Lorenzi
food + drinkThink outside the cool box for this summer’s frozen treats
News
John Barrowman kisses his male “bride” at a mock Gretna Green during the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony
peopleBarrowman's opening ceremony message to Commonwealth countries where he would be sent to prison for being gay
Sport
Sir Bradley Wiggins removes his silver medal after the podium ceremony for the men’s 4,000m team pursuit in Glasgow yesterday
Commonwealth games Disappointment for Sir Bradley in team pursuit final as England are forced to settle for silver
Sport
Alistair Brownlee (right) celebrates with his gold medal after winning the men’s triathlon alongside brother Jonny (left), who got silver
England's Jodie Stimpson won the women’s triathlon in the morning
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

Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform