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Jenson Button

Button 'more fearful' of partnering Verstappen than Hamilton

Jenson Button believes that going head-to-head with Max Verstappen would be more challenging than Lewis Hamilton

Verstappen Monza
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2009 Formula 1 World Champion Jenson Button admits that he would fear going up against Max Verstappen in the same car more than he would against Lewis Hamilton.

Button partnered Hamilton at McLaren from 2010 to 2012, prior to Hamilton’s highly successful switch to Mercedes, and actually edged the now seven-time champion in terms of points in their three-year spell.

Verstappen made his debut in 2015 and shared the grid with Button for two seasons before the latter retired from full-time action at the end of 2016, although he did stand in for Fernando Alonso at the 2017 Monaco Grand Prix during Alonso's Indianapolis 500 attack.

Recent years have seen Verstappen enjoy monumental success and the Dutchman is currently cruising towards a third consecutive F1 title.

Last week, Hamilton commented that Verstappen hasn’t faced the same level of competition within a team as he has.

Weighing in on the situation, Button told Sky Sports: "I think Lewis has had some very tough teammates, he’s had World Champions as teammates, whereas Max hasn’t."

Button ‘fearful’ of partnering Verstappen

However, Button has long been full of praise for Verstappen, stating in 2019 that he is the “fastest driver that has ever driven an F1 car”.

The 25-year-old has outpaced his Red Bull teammates over the last handful of years amid his success, with Daniel Ricciardo, Pierre Gasly, Alexander Albon and Sergio Perez struggling to match him.

Button suggested that going up against Verstappen would be a more daunting task than Hamilton.

"For me, I would be more fearful going up against Max in the same car," he said.

"I think it is because the car is designed around his style, or he can drive a car that Adrian Newey gives him.

"I think Adrian Newey gives him a car and says: 'This is the quickest car in the world. If you take away front downforce, it’s going to go slower, but it’ll be easier to drive.'

"Max is like: 'Right, I have to drive how you’ve made this car, and I need to drive it as quick as I can.'

"So I think that he’s very good at that. And I think a lot of drivers struggle to compete with that.

"I think Lewis has had more difficult teammates, but I also wouldn’t want to go up against Max."

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