Just like Sergio Perez is shaping up to take over from Lewis Hamilton, McLaren can also live without technical director Paddy Lowe, Jenson Button said at the launch of the team’s 2013 challenger on Thursday.
“People move on,” said Button, who after Michael Schumacher’s return to retirement is now the most experienced driver on the Formula One grid.
Although still at McLaren in 2013, Lowe was conspicuously absent on Thursday as McLaren launched its new car, amid rumours that he is on the brink of switching to Mercedes.
Button, though, said the Woking based team will cope no matter what happens.
“Like with Lewis, it was a big shock initially, then you regroup and train someone else up to be in that position.
“We’ve got to wait and see what happens. Paddy has to decide. It’s going to be hanging in the air, if there are rumours about somebody moving on.
“Whatever he decides I won’t have an issue with it,” he insisted.
Indeed, the 33-year-old said he is “damn excited” about 2013; his fourth consecutive year at McLaren, and his first without Hamilton as his teammate.
“It’s strange,” Button said, attempting to explain his excitement. “Maybe it’s because I know the direction we are taking with the car. Or it’s because it’s a fresh start and a new teammate.”
That new teammate is Mexican Sergio Perez, who at 22 is stepping into former world champion Hamilton’s cockpit.
Button was quick to compare his two McLaren teammates.
“It’s good to see [that] [Perez] has really been getting into the spirit of McLaren and spending a lot of time here, either doing sponsor activities or developing his relationship with the team,” he said.
“When Lewis and myself were here together we never used to see each other. It used to be one day in the simulator and out the other.” (GMM)
Subbed by AJN.