Jenson Button’s push to prominence at McLaren has been a deliberate attempt to build the famous team around him.
Many commentators viewed the 2009 world champion’s arrival last year to be the highly rated Lewis Hamilton’s new teammate as akin to walking into “the lion’s den”.
But less than two seasons later, Button is poised to beat the beleaguered Hamilton in the drivers’ standings and has signed a new multiple year contract.
The 31-year-old has also driven for Williams, Renault and Honda/Brawn, but it is his tenure at McLaren that is arguably attracting the highest plaudits.
Asked what the secret is, Button revealed: “It’s a lesson I learned many years ago.
“If you look back at F1 there are certain drivers that would always try and build a team around them and it helped them,” he is quoted by The Sun.
“Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost did that, but I suppose Michael Schumacher was the first one of our generation to really do that.
“It was not something I thought about myself when I was younger. But it’s one thing I remember about David Richards when he was team principal at BAR.
“He said ‘Jenson, you have very good speed, but other drivers out there do a much better job of surrounding themselves with the right people and really working at it with the team’. That definitely did stick with me,” he explained.