While Jenson Button was excited to join McLaren after winning the 2009 F1 World Championship, he has revealed that many questioned his move to drive alongside Lewis Hamilton, including Ross Brawn.
The Briton took the F1 title in Brawn GP's only season, winning six of the first seven races and topping the standings all season, ultimately finishing 11 points clear of Red Bull rival Sebastian Vettel.
Button explained that while he was thrilled to be joining McLaren the following year, the move raised questions from those at Brawn.
"We came into McLaren, for example, after winning the World Championship in 2009 [and] people said it was the craziest move to move to McLaren alongside Lewis Hamilton," Button told The High Performance Podcast. "Even Ross Brawn said that.
"I told the team that I was leaving at the end of 2009. I spoke to Nick Fry [the team's Chief Operating Officer], who basically just shouted at me. He was one of the bosses alongside Brawn at the time, and I remember going into his office and telling him I was leaving and he just shouted at me.
"I basically started laughing because it was a really uncomfortable situation. I kind of felt for him for how aggressive he was, and he just looked at me and said, 'Why are you laughing at me?'. It was just the situation and it [was] just what I didn't expect.
"I told Ross and he was very friendly and said, 'I think you're making a big mistake going up alongside Lewis'. I was like, 'This is awesome, a lot of positive energy I'm getting here', but it happens. I didn't have a contract for the next year and it just didn't feel like the place for me, and going to McLaren was."
Button shared that the team around him, including his father, helped him settle in at McLaren after being reassured he would be given the opportunity to compete alongside Hamilton on equal footing.
"I remember walking into McLaren and the first thing I said before I met anyone, I spoke to Martin Whitmarsh, I spoke to Ron Dennis, and I said, 'My first question is, is this Lewis' team, am I going to have equal treatment here?', because if I'm not, I don't want to be here," Button added.
"And they said, 'Yes, everything will be 100 percent equal between both of the drivers'. I said now I can start and then I walked in, met everyone, and got a pretty good rapport with the team very quickly.
"My dad would walk in, [he] was always in the background. He would speak to the engineers. It was quite a cold atmosphere and he made it a lot more friendly. And you know my manager was great, my physio, my PR man. I think it just made everyone a bit more relaxed in the team and drivers weren't these alien people that you can't talk to within a team."
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