Jenson Button warns Lewis Hamilton over ‘different way of racing’ at Ferrari

Jenson Button has warned Lewis Hamilton to expect a different driver-team ethos when he moves to Ferrari next year.

Seven-time F1 world champion Hamilton, who has won six of his seven titles with Mercedes, will leave the Silver Arrows at the end of the season after 12 years with the team.

The 39-year-old will link up with Charles Leclerc at Ferrari, replacing Carlos Sainz, as he switches to the sport’s most prestigious team in a final foray to win a record-breaking eighth world championship.

While Ferrari have showed signs of promise up against Red Bull this season, Mercedes have dropped behind McLaren to the fourth-quickest team on the grid, with Hamilton enduring his worst-ever start to a season.

Yet looking ahead to next year, 2009 world champion Button insists Hamilton must get used to the focus being on Ferrari trying to taste success again, rather than the individual in the cockpit.

“In every other team, you can kind of say, ‘Yeah, the driver is out for himself’. And the team obviously,” Button told the Sky Sports F1 podcast.

“But in Ferrari, everyone works for Ferrari. It’s all about Ferrari winning the world championships. It’s a different way of racing, definitely, for someone like Lewis, who is such a star in this sport. Suddenly, he’s kind of working for Ferrari to win the championship.”

Button was team-mates with Hamilton at McLaren for three years and believes the Brit will work well alongside Leclerc, who is on a long-term contract with Ferrari until 2029.

“I think if it was Lewis of sort of seven, eight years ago, it will be a tricky relationship” Button added.

Lewis Hamilton (left) and Jenson Button (right) were team-mates at McLaren (PA Archive)
Lewis Hamilton (left) and Jenson Button (right) were team-mates at McLaren (PA Archive)

“But now he just seems so relaxed in himself and no, I don’t think they’re going to have issues as being team-mates at all. No more than Carlos [Sainz] and Charles have right now.

“Do I think they’ll work well together? Yes. I think the positives that Charles has, he knows the team, speaks Italian. If he wanted to, he could make it really really difficult for Lewis and that team, the atmosphere.

“And you can say, ‘Well, that’s not sportsmanlike’, but that’s part of racing and Nico Rosberg will tell you that as well. It’s about getting the team of people behind you, so that gives you strength and it takes away strength from your team-mate.

“But Lewis has been around long enough to understand the situation and I’m really, really looking forward to that fight between team-mates.”

Hamilton, currently languishing ninth in the drivers’ standings, will be eyeing improvement in Imola this weekend at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.