Following his move to Mercedes for the 2013 Formula One season, Lewis Hamilton has made no secret of his adoration for his new team and particularly the greater freedom he enjoys with the German outfit. However, ex-McLaren teammate Jenson Button has said that he struggles to understand these comments.
“I was very, very surprised to hear that. The freedom I have in this team is phenomenal.
“It’s so not like that. It’s a very open team, free team, and a team that will do anything for you.”
2009 world champion Button admitted that he found the work rate at McLaren startling at first, but he quickly settled in, and he has gone on to win twice in three years at Albert Park with the team.
“In this team, you work, you have to work, and perhaps harder than in other teams. Initially when I came to the team, it was a shock.You learn to understand, to adapt – that is the job.”
On top of his two wins with McLaren in Melbourne, Button also won the race during his championship-winning season with Brawn, making him the most successful active driver at the Grand Prix. Alongside new teammate Sergio Perez, Button will be hoping for a repeat of last year’s race which saw both McLarens lock out the front row and finish on the podium. He will hope that Perez has adapted quickly to the team, and with both drivers renowned for their conservative driving style, the new tires may play in McLaren’s favor.
MotorSportsTalk continues its review of the Verizon IndyCar Series field, driver-by-driver, with a look at Ryan Briscoe. Despite not having a ride to start the year, Briscoe ended strongly courtesy of a series of strong runs at Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.
Ryan Briscoe, No. 5 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda
- 2014: 11th Place, Best Finish 4th, Best Start 4th, 1 Top-5, 11 Top-10, 5 Laps Led, 12.8 Avg. Start, 10.6 Avg. Finish
- 2015: 18th Place (8 starts), Best Finish 5th, Best Start 2nd, 1 Top-5, 4 Top-10, 10 Laps Led, 17.8 Avg. Start, 12.0 Avg. Finish
For those who slag on Briscoe as being undeserving of top level equipment, his 2015 second half provided a friendly reminder of his overall ability level in what might be less than the best machinery.
Briscoe was thrust into the No. 5 car under trying circumstances to begin with, getting all of an hour’s worth practice replacing the injured James Hinchcliffe ahead of the Indianapolis 500. But subsequent drives on the ovals there, Texas, Fontana, Milwaukee and Iowa – even if the results were less than ideal – showcased a driver determined to show to the paddock he still had it, and then some. His defense against Juan Pablo Montoya in Sonoma was nothing short of brilliant, and courtesy of double points he actually finished ahead of full-season driver Stefano Coletti.
The Australian immediately gelled with the SPM team, engineer Allen McDonald and race strategist Robert Gue. He continues to prove he’s an asset, as he has enjoyed multiple opportunities to extend his career in various arenas of motorsport in both open-wheel and sports cars, the latter of which he won at both the Rolex 24 at Daytona and the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring with Corvette Racing this year.
Following an early retirement for Mercedes AMG Petronas teammate Nico Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton has closed even more on his third Formula 1 World Championship.
View it above in the race recap from the 2015 Russian Grand Prix.