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Gascoyne unconvinced by Button

NEWS STORY
07/02/2007

Despite claiming his first Grand Prix win in 2006, thereby removing a rather large monkey from his back, particularly in the eyes of the British media, there are many who still doubt whether Jenson Button has the wherewithal to claim further wins and the ability to mount a serious championship fight.

One man who remains unconvinced by the Englishman is Mike Gascoyne, who worked alongside him at Renault.

"I agreed with Flavio (Briatore) when he replaced Button with Fernando Alonso," says Gascoyne in an interview with PA Sport. "I think Alonso had the spark that made him stand out.

Fernando won the championship last year when the car wasn't at times the quickest," he continued. "Does he (Button) have the race craft and the ability to do that? That's a question mark. Fernando you knew could do that, and Raikkonen the same."

Having split with Toyota in early 2006, the latest in a series of career moves, Gascoyne is now ensconced at Spyker, and it is clear he remains unconvinced not merely by Button but also his employers.

"Honda can't help but to talk themselves up at the start of the year," he said. "You've got to wait and see how competitive the car is. He's proved that if the car's there then he'll deliver."

The Englishman also believes that Lewis Hamilton is in for a difficult debut season: "He is under huge pressure, especially with Fernando Alonso alongside him," he said. "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," admitted Gascoyne. "It's a very difficult situation, but I think that Ron is the sort of person who will be very supportive if he struggles."

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