Belfast Telegraph

Friday 18 April 2014

Former champs’ backing for Button

Jenson Button

Formula One's three previous world champions have hailed Jenson Button as a worthy winner of this year's title.

Fernando Alonso, Kimi Raikkonen and Lewis Hamilton are all of the opinion Button is deserving of joining a club that includes just 32 members, despite his second-half-of-the-season slump.

Following his dominant start to the year when he won win six of the first seven races for Brawn GP, Button has since been on the podium just once.

If you compare the last seven grands prix in which Hamilton has scored more points than any other driver, 40, Button has managed just 21.

Despite that, Alonso especially feels Button justifiably deserves his new-found status, clinching the crown with a race to spare in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.

“I think he's a good champion for Formula One and he deserved it,” confirmed Renault's 2005 and 2006 title-holder.

“It's good for him, good for Brawn and good for the sport.”

Hamilton, who has supported Button all the way through the season, tried to be one of the first to congratulate the 29-year-old on his success in Brazil after they stepped out of their cars.

Hamilton, though, went unnoticed as Button was in his own world at the time, something the McLaren star can fully appreciate.

“That's normal. It was to be expected, but then I saw him later on in the press conference, and I was so happy for him,” he said. “He did an incredible job this year.”

As for 2007 champion Raikkonen, he agreed with Alonso and Hamilton, even if it was in his own typically under-stated style.

“He had the most points, and whoever gets the most points deserves it,” said Ferrari's Finn.

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