What about their best races?
1. Germany, 2011 - race long 3 way battle between LH, Alonso and Webber. Sealed it with a crucial cold tyred defence against Webber and a pass on a cold tyred Alonso at the same section of track a few laps apart.
2. USA, 2012- race long battle against Vettel, who up until Q3 had looked to have a decent pace margin over the field. Both finished nearly 40s ahead of 3rd place.
3. China, 2011- looked to be going backwards early on as tyre deg took effect, but fought back to win with some aggressive passing
4. Turkey 2010- pressured the Red Bulls early on, which led to Red Bull keen for Vettel to pass Webber... and a nice recovery from being passed by JB.
5. Canada, 2012/ 2010- not sure which one is the better. Both involved race long battles and passes for the lead.
1. Japan 2011 -very close race between JB, SV and FA, but JB had the edge. A superb drive, and his first dry race victory for McLaren.
2. Hungary 2011- outraced LH, able to makes his front tyres last a crucial few extra laps enabling him to stay on a 2 stop strategy. Perfectly judged race, keeping SV out of reach in the closing laps
3. Canada 2011- great comeback from last place with some superb passing and pace; and frightened SV off the track on the final lap. Funny to think JB only led a portion of a lap- shows you can never count him out.
4. Monaco 2011- had the pace to win this one, only strategy and bad luck with the SC/ red flag cost him the chance of doing so.
5. Australia 2012- Seemed to be a continuance of his 2011 form, and teh way he opened up an early lap advantage and maintained the gap was reminiscent of many of Vettel's 2011 victories.
Well done for trying to change the subject.
1. Germany 2011 - The win was set up by one of the best qualifying laps I've ever seen on Saturday. This translated into a first corner lead which he had to fight for, first with Webber and then with Alonso. Three great cars on a level footing with one of the few times that season the tyres could actually be pushed, and Hamilton made the difference.
2. Australia 2010 - Hamilton deserved so much more from this race. He overtook his teammate in short order and came off badly in the first round of pit stops but fought his way up into third place (including an amazing pass around the outside of Rosberg) before foolishly being told to pit again.
3. USA 2012 - It looked like Vettel would walk away with it after practice and qualifying but Hamilton, again with tyres that could actually be pushed (this is not a coincidence, I'll write about it in a post at another time), tracked him the entire race and took his one opportunity. The two of them were more than half a minute ahead of Alonso in third; Hamilton was the difference between an exciting battle for the lead and a Vettel grand chelem.
4. China 2011 - After his first stop he was behind Button and it looked like it would be a fairly uneventful slog to the line. As it was, he scythed past Button (who was very fair in leaving Hamilton enough room, if Hamilton had tried that on Massa they would both have been out of the race), Rosberg and Massa and then set about chasing down Vettel, cleverly using his KERS to take the lead.
5. China 2010 - Hamilton quite simply lit up the race. As in Australia he and his side of the garage called it wrong in the mixed conditions but what a recovery. Some unusual overtakes including a double whammy on Vettel and Sutil saw him finish within touching distance of the victory.
(Bonus 6. Korea 2011 - He took the only non-Red Bull pole of the year on Saturday and while he couldn't contain Vettel at the start he drove an incredibly gritty, defensive race to keep Webber at bay for the entire second stint without a single error. It wasn't a win and Hamilton was so downcast at that stage of the season that it didn't seem to matter much to him, but to see the old "you are bloody well going to fight for this place" attitude meant a lot.)
1. Canada 2011 - the only time in their three year partnership I couldn't stop myself cheering for Button. I was livid with him for the Hamilton crash but when I saw him chasing down Vettel at a second per lap in the closing stages I completely forgot the earlier parts of the race, and stood up with my fists pumping when Vettel spun on the last lap.
2. Japan 2011 - He was 100 points behind Vettel with four races to go at the start of the race, so had to win to keep a mathematical hope of the championship alive. He duly did so with the best of his three dry wins for McLaren so far, taking the fight to Vettel and proving his class around one of the most challenging tracks on the calendar.
3. Brazil 2011 - One of the very few times Button quite simply outpaced Hamilton throughout the weekend. Yet another podium in a run of eight from nine races to finish off an amazing year for Button.
4. Monaco 2011 - Button deserved to win this race, pure and simple. McLaren put him on the wrong tyres and that gave Vettel the all important track position because he had to pit again (if memory serves correctly). I remember his pace in the middle stint being superb, opening out something like a fourteen second gap on Vettel.
5. USA 2012 - Recovered very well from a mechanical failure in qualifying and a shocking start from the dirty side of the grid. Some tremendous overtaking and good pace in clean air got him into the big points. I feel this is the sort of race that, had it happened in 2010, would have seen Button get stuck behind other cars, lose temperature in his tyres and trundle home to a low points finish. I really feel he has evolved as a driver over his spell at McLaren so far.
(Bonus 6. Australia 2012 - After this race I genuinely feared for Hamilton. 2012 didn't pan out that way in the end, but given the lack of concern I had over Button as a true rival for Hamilton at the start of 2011 it speaks volumes about Button as a driver that he came back, beat his teammate in 2011 and then caused Hamilton fans around the world to break into cold sweats on the Sunday night after the Melbourne race.)