Rivalry is helping McLaren says Button

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The Independent Online

Jenson Button believes the rivalry in the McLaren garage is healthy and proving a spur to all within the team.

The accident involving Red Bull duo Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel in the Turkish Grand Prix 11 days ago opened up a can of worms regarding equality within the Milton Keynes-based marque.

Webber has since signed a new one-year deal with Red Bull, whilst Vettel has played down suggestions of favouritism towards him.

Despite Vettel's comments off track, there is still a degree of reparation required on it between the German and Australian.

If Red Bull and Vettel are pulling the wool over people's eyes and the 22-year-old is a de facto number one, according to Button, "that is going to hurt them both".

In contrast, Button and team-mate Lewis Hamilton would appear to be genuine equals, with the reigning champion adding: "I know 100 per cent we get treated in the same way.

"I don't mean with regards to equipment, I mean the way the people are around us.

"My mechanics probably want me to win and his want him to win. It's that in-fighting which is exciting, but is not over the top.

"It's the way it should be, and it's working very well for us."

Button, though, does not feel that will result in a battle for the title between himself and Hamilton alone as he is still wary of the threat posed by Red Bull.

"I'm sure in speaking to Red Bull after the previous race in Monaco they would have thought 'Wow, we've such a margin of performance we are going to walk it,"' added Button.

"In Turkey we proved we are as quick if not quicker, although we still need to work on qualifying.

"But you can't say it is between me and Lewis because anything can happen.

"Red Bull bring new parts to every race they go to and they are always improving.

"They are a fantastic team and it's going to be hard for us to challenge them at every race we go to, but that has to be our aim.

"In Canada we should be quick here, and then it's just a fight as to how many updates you can get on the car to consistently fight for victories and not slip up."

Although the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve should suit McLaren's car, Button knows it will take perfection to clinch victory as it is a track that is unforgiving given its characteristics.

"It's an extremely fast circuit, but isn't a place that tolerates even the slightest mistake because of the proximity of the concrete walls," said Button.

"It means Canada is always an unpredictable weekend - a bit of a one-off, which is great for Formula One - and I think this year's race has all the ingredients for a classic."