Jenson Button raced against and defeated the best in F1, but the 2009 world champion has admitted to one specific weakness relative to former rivals and teammates Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso.
Button and Hamilton raced togather at McLaren between 2010 and 2012, while the Briton was paired with Alonso at the Woking-based outfit for two seasons, in 2015 and 2016.
He was therefore given an opportunity to measure up against F1’s two superstars, but also to appreciate the full array of their qualities as F1 drivers.
“My greatest weakness was I wasn’t willing to move on from a bad weekend,” Button recalled on The High Performance podcast.
“But I feel I’ve definitely got over that. One thing I haven’t been able to get over is driving a bad car, that’s my weakness.
“Lewis and Fernando Alonso can jump in a bad car and get more out of it than I can – that’s probably my weakness.”
As far as Button’s own strengths are concerned, the 15-time Grand Prix winner reckons that his specific style gave him an edge in particular circumstances.
“Strength is…the way I drive is very different to most,” he said.
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“For example, Lewis, comes into a corner – it’s great because I have all the speed traces from the data when we were team-mates – hammers the brake as hard as he can, there’s no modulation.
“He turns into the corner, goes onto the throttle, the same amount of pressure every time, it’s linear, and he does everything through the steering wheel.
“I was the complete opposite. I would brake and modulate it to stop front-locking, and I would come on the throttle and modulate the throttle so I didn’t have to change my steering angle, so I’d be smooth on the steering.”
Read also: Button reveals crucial prerequisite to join McLaren in 2010
And when track conditions were bad, Button’s signature smoothness proved to be an advantage, as he typically felt the car through his “bum”.
“They would say ‘oh, he looks so smooth’. It’s just because that’s what I’d use, very differently to someone like Lewis,” he added.
“That hurt me in some ways, but it helped me in those mixed conditions, [to] really feel the conditions underneath me.
“Modulating the brake when you come under braking, you won’t lock up as much. You don’t want steering angle in the wet because it’s very easy to lose the rear and modulating the throttle is key as well because it controls that.
“I felt the car through my bum a lot more than others. A lot of people would see it’s wet and drive to what they see, whereas I would drive to what I felt and that’s where my strength was in those mixed conditions.
“And half of my victories in F1 were in mixed conditions. I’m not saying I like those conditions, nobody likes it, I just did better than others.”
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