McLaren’s racing duo have disagreed about how the early development of the 2010 car impacted the pecking order at the British team this season.
Jenson Button, whose decision to switch to the Woking based team this year was made late, explained at Suzuka that he is expecting a better 2011 season.
“The fact is when I arrived in January the car was already built,” said the reigning world champion, who qualified two tenths behind his teammate Lewis Hamilton on Sunday morning.
Button, 30, is also five points behind Hamilton in the drivers’ standings, despite two consecutive race-ending crashes for the latter Briton.
He continued: “Next year I’ll definitely be a stronger driver just through experience and having a bit more direction when it comes to development of the car.”
But Hamilton denies that the gap between the pair is easily explained by his greater involvement in the development of the MP4-25.
He argues that Button had “just as much input as me” into the car, with the exception of early seat fittings and other minor influences.
“But he was as much a part of it from when he joined the team as I was,” said Hamilton, 25.
“So he has only missed out on a couple of months really. And he wouldn’t have wanted to drive last year’s car.
“This is a completely new one. It is not like this year’s is an evolution of last year’s,” he insisted.
© RIF | GMM