2009 F1 champion Jenson Button believes Lewis Hamilton “won’t be enjoying” beating Michael Schumacher’s records without stronger competition.
Hamilton’s former McLaren team-mate Jenson Button was asked about Lewis Hamilton closing in on Michael Schumacher’s most career wins record. The Briton believes Hamilton would enjoy beating the record more if he had stronger competition.
“I know Lewis, he likes to win,” Button told Inews.
“He’s definitely a winner and he’s very skilled but I know he won’t be enjoying winning as much now as he would have done if he had competition from outside.
“If he [Charles] Leclerc or [Sebastian] Vettel or Max Verstappen had equipment that could challenge Lewis, I think he would enjoy that a lot more.
“Or if he had Michael Schumacher and he could beat him – that would mean more to him.
“It’s a tough one because you take every win that you get but you want the competition to be there to challenge you for that win.”
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As Hamilton’s team-mate from 2010 until 2012, Button reveals how he went about beating the six-time champion.
“There are certain things that you should pick up when you’re Lewis’ teammate to get inside his head.
“It’s about using your head in certain situations, engineering the car, strategy, setting the car up.
“So for me the only way to beat Lewis was to set my car up better or to go through a race in a different way in terms of strategy, because of how I would look after the tyres or save fuel, so I could push when he pitted.”
“That made it so much fun and I think Lewis a lot of the time thought ‘I don’t know how he has just beaten me because I am quicker than him’.”
However, Button doesn’t see Valtteri Bottas playing mind games with Hamilton.
“Bottas is a team player and Valtteri is just a really nice bloke.
“He wants to do all his talking on the track,” concluded the Briton.