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Button: Hamilton will play mind games with Rosberg as he did with me

May 18, 2014, 8:30 AM EDT

Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton AP

Jenson Button is confident that Nico Rosberg can get his head around the mind games that Lewis Hamilton will be playing at Mercedes, having also dealt with the Briton during their time together at McLaren.

Hamilton and Rosberg have dominated Formula 1 in 2014, winning five races between them and securing four one-two finishes. However, Hamilton appears to have rattled Rosberg after claiming four straight wins and the lead of the drivers’ championship.

After claiming his fourth victory in Spain, Hamilton claimed that he had been slower than Rosberg all weekend despite winning the race from pole position. In Button’s eyes, this is just part of the psychological battle that Hamilton is looking to enter.

“I am sure there will, if there aren’t already, be mind games going on,” Button told the Press Association. “There were a few things he played on me. It would work on some drivers, whereas others it just makes them stronger because they laugh it off.”

Button and Hamilton spent three years together at McLaren, and despite many predicting that Hamilton would wipe the floor with his teammate, it was in fact Button who had the edge during their time together.

However, Hamilton’s relationship with the team appeared to sour, and it also did with Button. On one occasion, he launched into a rant on Twitter when he thought that Button had unfollowed him, saying: “After three years as teammates, I thought we respected one another but clearly he doesn’t.”

It turned out that Button never followed him in the first place.

In 2014, though, Button is confident that Rosberg can deal with the mind games that Hamilton will be playing.

“Nico is intelligent to know if Lewis is playing mind games or not, which in some ways could help Nico or harm him,” the 2009 world champion said. “He might just end up getting fed up with it.

“But Lewis is full of confidence at the moment and he is a fierce competitor when he is like that, even when he is not having a good day.”

Rosberg will be gunning to re-gain the championship lead in Monaco next weekend, and after winning the race last year, it is unlikely he’ll be willing to let his crown go without a fight.

  1. wiscpaul - May 18, 2014 at 3:22 PM

    I saw Rosberg’s reaction when Hamilton said that Rosberg was faster. Nikki laughed in surprise at such an absurd comment. Nikki’s not having any of it. Results do the real talking. RedBull is going to be tough at Monte Carlo since it’s not a top speed type of place but Rosberg won last year and lives there. Go Ferrari.

  2. techmeister1 - May 18, 2014 at 5:12 PM

    Hammy is a real scumball that’s for sure. He’ll use or abuse anyone to get what he wants. Thankfully what goes around usually comes around and when it does payback may be Hell. Nico knows what a scumball Hammy is so he isn’t buying into the B.S. Nico was faster in the last stint but he just hasn’t had the luck he needs to close the deal.

  3. keef180 - May 19, 2014 at 3:54 AM

    It’s quite funny that some comments on here suggest that every F1 racing driver is a picture of sheer selflessness and lewis is the antichrist. Drivers in general are complete selfish arseholes and that’s what gets them where they are now.
    There’s a lot of stoking going on here trying to start a senna v Prost type battle between the two merc drivers but those people have to remember that these two have grown up together and are firm friends.
    There’s a lot of accusations about ‘mind games’ from others but I suspect a lot of it is going towards lewis not coming from him. I know lewis isn’t a particularly popular character in the paddock with his fellow drivers and as such his compatriots are willing to try anything to attempt to de-stabilise this good run he’s on. When in a good place (mentally) and with a good car under him lewis is unbeatable as he’s proved so far this season.
    Button is just hoping to spark something that will take lewis’ mind off the game enough to allow nico back into the party. Jenson needs to concentrate on his own team and help mclaren back to winning ways rather than paying lip service to his own jealousy.

  4. photog645 - May 19, 2014 at 8:06 AM

    While it is true that Lewis tries to psychologically “tweak” his teammates, I really don’t believe that Lewis is the “Antichrist” as referred to in another comment. However, I do believe that Lewis is as egotistical as Michael Schumacher ever thought about being. However, Keef180’s comment concerning Button is way off the mark. I have been following Formula 1 since the late 1950’s (Yes, I have) and Button reminds me of the late, great Jack Brabham. A true gentleman. I am certain that Button has his ego, but he does not nurture it for public consumption.

  5. lewymp4 - May 19, 2014 at 3:48 PM

    Button who had the edge during their time together……….In their 3 years from 2010 – 2013, ever at any time together was Jenson in the running for securing a WDC………no, but in Hamilton’s case he did have a chance in both 2010 and 2012.
    Button having the edge over Lewis while together as teammates is…….laughable.

    • Luke Smith - May 19, 2014 at 6:33 PM

      That’s a fair judgement. I was working on the fact that Jenson scored 672 points compared to Lewis’ 657 during their time together. To my mind, Jenson had the better three year spell, marginally.

      Did anyone really expect him to run Lewis so close? Definitely not. JB proved in 2010, 2011 and 2012 why he won the title in 2009, that it wasn’t just the car.

      I can appreciate your point here, though.

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