Mike Gascoyne, engineering head at Spyker, has said he thinks British driver lacks the ‘spark’ that separates World Champions from the rest of the field.
“I agreed with Flavio,” he explained, “when he replaced Button with Alonso at theend of 2002. Fernando won the championship last year when the car wasn’t at times the quickest – does Button have the race craft and ability to do that? That’s a question mark. Fernando you knew could do that, and Raikkonen the same.”
Gascoyne also went on the criticise Button’s team, Honda. “They can’t help but to talk themselves up at the start of the year,” he said. “Button’s a race winner, but it’s whether or not he’s a championship winner.”
Gascoyne went on to say that Hamilton was under a lot of pressure at McLaren, but it was a good place for him to develop his skills. He thinks that if he fails to match the World Champion’s pace, it may affect his confidence.
“He is under great pressure,” he stated. “Especially with Fernando Alonso alongside him. It’s a big ask for a young man at McLaren, especially as it looks as though they will have a competitive car. If he gets beaten in every race by Alonso, his confidence will go and it will be very difficult. The one good thing is that Ron Dennis will stick by him.”