Hamilton denies Button pressure talk


Lewis Hamilton has dismissed Martin Whitmarsh's claim that teammate Jenson Button's form is one of the reasons for his own current problems.

Speaking in the wake of the Indian Grand Prix, in which Hamilton finished seventh following another encounter with Felipe Massa, Whitmarsh said that he felt Hamilton was "feeling the pressure" as a result of his teammate's ever improving form.

Speaking to reporters in Abu Dhabi however, the 2008 champion was quick to dismiss the claim.

"It's rubbish," he said. "My issues have been much, much bigger than that, more personal. Jenson doing great is great for the team."

Surprising those present with his frankness, Hamilton, who admits to having enjoyed an Annus horribilis, continued: "Jenson has done a great job to get things in the right place. He's got his Dad, who's there at every single race, he's got his manager, he's got his friends and his girlfriend there all the time. He's got a great bubble around him and with that he's able to go out there and perform without any worries on his mind.

"He's in a much stronger position than me so I wouldn't expect anything less than the results he's been getting," he continued. "But that's not affecting the way I'm performing. I've just been a bit unfortunate and I've got my own problems. I lost that bubble. It is a priority for me to create that atmosphere around myself because it's a happy bubble."

While most drivers' personal lives remain just that, personal, Hamilton's, in terms of his on-off-on-off relationship with singer Nicole Scherzinger and his decision to drop his father as his manager has ensured plenty of column inches in the tabloids.

"They affect everything you do, the things you say, the way you act, the groove you get into," he said. "It's not an excuse it's just the way things have gone. I feel quite confident that I know the right direction for next year and how I can get things better... it's just about doing it.

"I don't plan on being single for very long," he added with a smile. "It's nothing to do with being single or not being single. When I was in my relationship she was probably the most positive thing that was in my life, and maybe that needs to be back there."

Referring to the much publicised 'feud' with Felipe Massa, he said: "I would like to clear the air but it can't just come from one side. We have to meet each other in the middle and he has got to be willing as well. "I have no problems with him, and that's been the same all year."

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Published: 10/11/2011
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