Belfast Telegraph

Formula One: ‘Super talented’ Lewis Hamilton a fighter, claims Jenson Button

Jenson Button has launched a passionate defence of Lewis Hamilton following yet another controversial race for his McLaren team-mate.

Just a fortnight after vowing to learn from his mistakes in Monaco where he was twice penalised for causing accidents, Hamilton proved that to be a fallacy in Sunday's crazy Canadian Grand Prix.

In the space of the first three true racing laps — after the safety car had led the initial four due to the wet conditions — Hamilton was involved in three separate incidents.

Initially he tagged and spun Mark Webber, then later ran wide as he attempted a pass on Nico Rosberg, before committing the cardinal sin of motor sport in crashing into his team-mate.

The accident resulted in him hitting the wall, puncturing his left-rear tyre, and although he attempted to continue, he was swiftly forced to retire.

Condemnation was equally as rapid, in particular from three-times champion Niki Lauda who declared Hamilton to be “completely mad”, and likely to kill someone with his driving.

Despite a sixth trip to see the stewards in seven races, Hamilton avoided a penalty. Unusually, the 26-year-old ducked a customary post-race interview session with the British media, believing Button deserved all the limelight.

Button, euphoric following a backs-to-the-wall win, said: “Lewis is in the headlines a lot, and a lot of it is because he is b****y good.

“He's a racer, a fighter. For me that is the reason why I wanted to be here, against and with a driver that is super talented, one of the best drivers Formula One has ever seen.

“It's good challenging him on the circuit. We have a lot of respect for each other, we've raced each other a lot this year, and last year, and we've never touched. We've always given each other room.

“For me that's a great position to be in.

“So I don't agree with what Niki has said. I think his driving style is aggressive and he always goes for gaps.

“Sometimes he's right, sometimes he's not, but it's the same for all of us. He just finds himself in that situation more often than others.”

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