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Hamilton laments playing hare to Button's tortoise 20 Apr 2010

(L to R): Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren talks with team mate Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 4, Chinese Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Shanghai, China, Saturday, 17 April 2010 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren MP4/25.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 4, Chinese Grand Prix, Practice Day, Shanghai, China, Friday, 16 April 2010 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 4, Chinese Grand Prix, Race Day, Shanghai, China, Sunday, 18 April 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 Button’s more measured approach has produced better results.

Button heads the title standings after his second win from four outings with his new team in Sunday’s 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 I’ve 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 compatriot’s 60. He made an excellent start to the year with a podium in Bahrain, but was then forced to watch Button calmly take McLaren’s 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.

Hamilton’s and Button’s respective 2010 performances have already got the media drawing comparisons with one of McLaren’s 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 Hamilton’s 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.