Button move a mistake, says Stewart
18 November 2009 – Sir Jackie Stewart feels that Jenson Button is making a mistake in moving to McLaren ahead of his season of title defence. The Scot, who claimed three world titles between 1969 and 1973, believes that the Englishman should have pursued closer a deal to stay at Brawn GP, now Mercedes.
With Brawn - which Button joined in 2003, as B.A.R - having been regarded by many as 'Button's team' and the same applying to Lewis Hamilton's relationship with McLaren, Stewart believes that the 2009 World Champion will face difficulties in overhauling his predecessor and compatriot in an identical car.
"It will be difficult for him to take on Lewis Hamilton," Stewart explained to BBC Radio 5 Live. "It's like walking into the lion's den because Lewis has had three years with McLaren now and he has it his way - he's already disposed of one driver that came in there, Alonso."
With Hamilton being the higher paid of the pairing and preparing for his fourth season with the Woking outfit, Stewart is confident that Button may soon reflect on the deal with regret. "I think it's a mistake by Jenson," Sir Jackie said plainly. "If I was Jenson, I would have wanted to do a deal with Brawn because I would know the culture of the Brawn team, have high respect for Ross Brawn (Team Principal) and know the mechanics.
"There's a totally different culture at McLaren, something that he might never have experienced before; they have a very clinical culture which doesn't have the emotion or the drive in the same passionate way that Brawn would have had with him there as the reigning World Champion."
Stewart is also confident, however, that McLaren will have one of - if not the - best car on the grid next season.