Lewis Hamilton departure 'a big loss' for McLaren concedes Jenson Button
Friday 02 November 2012
Jenson Button believes Lewis Hamilton's impending exit from McLaren will be “a big loss” to the team.
Button has previously made it clear he has enjoyed pitting his wits against a fellow world champion in Hamilton these past three years, helping to make him a better driver.
Although there will be no second crown for either man this season, a 24-point gap between the British duo means Hamilton is set to leave for Mercedes with a 2-1 victory in their inter-team rivalry based on total points at the end of the season.
Rising star Sergio Perez may have been recruited as replacement, but the 32-year-old Button cannot help but feel Hamilton's departure will be felt by the team.
"With Lewis leaving, obviously the team loses a very fast driver," said Button.
"He's a guy that's achieved a lot with the team, wins and obviously a world championship - the last guy to win a world championship for the team.
"It is a big loss, but things change and you learn to move on and adapt. It's definitely not the end of two strong drivers at McLaren."
Although Perez has acquitted himself well at Sauber over the last two years, the 22-year-old Mexican still remains an unknown quantity.
Perez has conjured three superb podiums this season but his results have otherwise been sporadic, and notably since he was announced as Hamilton's replacement he has failed to score a point in three races.
Assessing Perez's potential, Button added: "I think Sergio will be fast, but I really don't know.
"He's obviously unknown in a McLaren because he's not there yet. But it's a great opportunity for Checo, and I'm sure he will take it with both hands."
Hamilton, meanwhile, insists he has no regrets about joining Mercedes, who are currently on their worst run since returning to the sport at the start of 2010.
Like Perez, since Hamilton announced he was moving to the Brackley-based team on a three-year contract, they have also failed to pick up a point in the last three races.
When you consider that in the previous 52 races Mercedes had not scored in only four, it highlights just how much they have plumbed the depths.
Asked by Press Association Sport about Mercedes' run, Hamilton said: "I've been told about it.
"It makes me even more driven to help them score points, and no, I'm not thinking 'have I made right decision?'
"I'm very happy with the decision I made. What is happening to them doesn't have any impact on that.
"People do sometimes lose their way. Even we (McLaren) have struggled in the past and not scored points."
Appreciating the size of the task awaiting him at Mercedes when he officially joins on January 1, Hamilton said: "I already knew how big it was going to be.
"I really thought about it long and hard, and I could see how big it was. Perhaps it's now growing.
"But as a task I'm really excited about it, excited to meet new people and to being in a different environment, and to mould myself into that environment."
Returning to the stage after 20 years makes actress feel 'nauseous'
Top conservatoire offers ‘groundbreaking’ arts degree
Manchester United official team photo: Antonio Valencia and Anderson pull the funniest faces
F1 Singapore Grand Prix: FIA clarifies radio message allowances as Mercedes' 'it's hammer time' saying survives ban
Borussia Dortmund vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt, including Danny Welbeck must be more clinical and Hector Bellerin debut
Colombian women's cycling team kit that makes wearer appear naked is branded 'unacceptable' by UCI president
Liverpool 2 Ludogorets 1 player ratings
- 1 Scottish independence: Ireland since 1919 is a lesson for Scotland in what a Yes vote means
- 2 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 3 Grandmas keep accidentally tagging themselves as Grandmaster Flash on Facebook
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
£23m Birmingham cycle scheme is attacked by Tory councillor for not catering to the elderly