Jenson Button has praised his former team-mate Lewis Hamilton, describing him as one of, if not the, fastest driver in terms of outright speed.
The Briton however knows that to be successful in Formula 1 it takes more than just speed, but reckons Hamilton has come a long way in maturing since they were team-mates at McLaren.
“He’s one of the fastest to ever jump into a Formula One car,” Button said of his fellow Brit. “His natural ability is probably better than anyone in terms of outright speed. But we all know F1 is not all about natural ability, it’s about how you build on your natural ability and also how your engineering skills are and how you work with hundreds of people within a team to develop a car.
“I think he’s good [at that now] and when we were team-mates we had a lot of fun racing together. Some of it was controversial, but not a lot of the time.”
Proof of Hamilton’s new-found mental strength has shown through this season as not only has he had to deal with a competitive team-mate, but he’s also had to overcome a string of reliability issues.
“For me, watching him on TV and speaking to him he seems very comfortable in himself which is not the Lewis I knew when we were team-mates. He seems to be taking it on the chin, with the problems he’s had I think he comes across really well.
“I don’t know if it’s just a front or if it is that he feels confident inside that he can still come back after these problems and fight for the world championship, but I really think he can.”