Jenson Button says Lewis Hamilton has made the wrong decision to join Mercedes in 2013
Jenson also admits "we are not close friends" but rubbishes talk atmosphere within McLaren has changed since switch was announced
By James Galloway. Last Updated: 16/10/12 12:05pm
Jenson Button: Admits he and Hamilton are "not close friends" but that nothing has changed inside McLaren
Jenson Button believes team-mate Lewis Hamilton has made the wrong decision in deciding to leave McLaren for Mercedes but denies that the impending move has led to a change in atmosphere at the Woking team.
McLaren's three-year partnership of British World Champions Hamilton and Button will end at the close of this season after the former decided to seek a fresh challenge in trying to help establish Mercedes as consistent front runners over the next three years.
Button knows the Brackley-based team well having driven for them for seven seasons in their previous BAR, Honda and Brawn guises but suspects Hamilton is making a mistake in leaving McLaren.
"He has chosen to go his own way at the end of the year. It is his decision, although I personally don't think it is the right decision," Button was quoted as saying by the Guardian.
Since Hamilton announced that he was ending his 14-year association with McLaren the potential repercussions for his relationship with both the team's personnel and Button has been put under an intense media spotlight.
Hamilton caused a stir on Twitter last week by accusing Button of 'disrespect' when he thought his team-mate had stopped following him on the social networking site, only to then be forced into a swift climbdown when he realised his team-mate had never followed his feed in the first place.
Both drivers have since played down the episode and Button insists they do have a solid working relationship, even if he admits "we are not close friends".
"We work together and have a good working relationship," he added. "If we think there is something wrong with the car we will work on it."
Button also rubbished suggestions that there had been any kind of attitude change towards Hamilton inside McLaren since his Mercedes move was made public, blaming the media for fuelling incorrect tales of tension.
"It is amazing how opinionated people are with this team and none of it is true," Jenson said.
"The atmosphere in the team is fantastic. As far as I can see with Lewis, he is focused and wants to win races. Nothing has changed, it is just the view of a few people with a wide audience and they need to get their facts straight."