Button logs into Lewis' winning formula as he looks to end his barren run in Valencia
22:46 GMT, 22 June 2012
Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery but it remains to seen whether Lewis Hamilton views matters quite so philosophically if Jenson Button’s decision to borrow his recipe for success pays off.
The wry smile on Hamilton’s face when discussing the help that has been offered to Button’s side of the garage suggests he may not.
At the wheel: Lewis Hamilton in practice for the European Grand Prix on Friday
The Levante wind was blowing strongly across the Valencia Street Circuit on Friday but with just two points from the last four grand prix Button’s season is very much in the doldrums.
In a bid to cure the technical issues which have led to Button struggles with his tyres, the 2009 world champion will use his team-mate set-up data this weekend — a set-up which helped his Hamilton storm to his first victory of the season in Canada and to the top of the drivers’ championship.
Much is made of the team ethic at McLaren but Hamilton leaves you with the distinct impression he was not best pleased at having to offer Button a leg up.
'It was very interesting when I went to the factory last week,' said Hamilton.
'I was with my engineer and saw all the other top engineers together on one table.
'They had all of my data out lap by lap, noting all the things I did differently to Jenson to try and understand things. So he has absolutely every detail of what I’m doing differently. So I’m sure see a difference result this weekend.'
Brit of all right: Jenson Button and Felipe Massa during second practice on Friday
After admitting to be 'confused and lost’ following his 16th place in Montreal, Button was sounding far more confident in Valencia.
'I am sure he is,' added Hamilton. 'There’s been a lot of work that’s gone on for his car!'
In fairness to Button he has made no of his need for assistance, but the difference in his driving style to that of Hamilton means plenty of work still lies ahead if he is to tailor his teammate’s winning formula to his requirements.
'This weekend we are going to start very similar to Lewis,' conceded Button.
'I was baffled but I understand it a lot more now. I'm confident we’ve found the problems its whether we’ve done the right things to improve the car already. If we haven’t we understand where we need to go. The car is going to be different to the last few races, more like the first few races.'
Legend: Michael Schumacher in the pits at the Valencia Street Circuit
Button better hope he can quickly regain the early season form which saw him win the opener in Australia and come home second in China – especially with the formidable names of Hamilton, Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel occupying the top three places in the championship.
A two-day visit to Royal Ascot failed to yield any winners, but Button is adamant he is not amongst the also-rans just yet even if he does recognise the need for at least a podium finish on Sunday.
'Not a lot is it’ insisted Button of the 43-point gap to Hamilton. 'It’s a very odd championship. I’ve lost those points in the last three races to the guy that’s leading so it can turn around quickly.'
Too quickly for Hamilton’s liking perhaps.