Hamilton laments playing hare to Buttons tortoise 20 Apr 2010
His cut-and-thrust charges through the field have provided Formula One fans with great entertainment this season, but Lewis Hamilton has conceded that McLaren team mate Jenson Buttons more measured approach has produced better results.
Button heads the title standings after his second win from four outings with his new team in Sundays Chinese Grand Prix. And while the reigning champion controlled the race from the front, biding his time on tyre decisions and making just two stops in changeable conditions, Hamilton was into the pits four times en route to a hard-won second place.
"I feel Ive had great races, but he (Button) has taken the right decisions and taken the easier route," Hamilton, champion with McLaren in 2008, told reporters before heading from China to South Africa for sponsor commitments.
Hamilton, who was widely tipped to outshine Button this season, lies fourth in the drivers table with 49 points to his compatriots 60. He made an excellent start to the year with a podium in Bahrain, but was then forced to watch Button calmly take McLarens first 2010 win after employing superior strategy in Australia.
"I have had the harder route and got good results but hopefully soon I will take the easier route," added Hamilton, who is no stranger to partnering world champions, having spent a tumultuous debut season alongside Fernando Alonso at McLaren in 2007.
Hamiltons and Buttons respective 2010 performances have already got the media drawing comparisons with one of McLarens legendary driver line-ups of the past, that of Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna, whose rivalry famously ended with them clashing both on and off track.
Button is a huge admirer of Prost, whose smooth driving style and highly tactical race craft earned him four world titles and the nickname The Professor. Among Hamiltons heroes is Senna, the late Brazilian whose awesome pace and win-at-all-costs approach attracted three drivers crowns and millions of fans around the world.