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Five things to look forward to in 2012 (Part 2) - McLaren's inter-team battle // Button and Hamilton make a fascinating partnership

Published by Christine

F1 Pocket Handbook

In my new book Pocket F1 Handbook : Guide to the 2012 Grand Prix Season you'll find a top ten list of things to look forward to in the coming year, highlighting what may be different and better from 2011, and what could make this year in Formula One stand out. As the first race draws ever nearer, over the next week, I'll select five items from that list - expanding on them and building up to the brand new F1 season. Today, it's time for a peek into the workings of Red Bull's nearest competitors.

2. McLaren's inter-team battle

Lewis Hamilton’s scrappy season in 2011 allowed teammate Jenson Button to move ahead of him, with Button becoming the first driver to beat him in equal machinery. For 2012, there will be a new hunger in Hamilton to reclaim his position at the top of the McLaren tree, and assuming his personal life is more stable, the fight for supremacy at Woking will be an incredible one to behold. The team will not only be battling for pole positions, victories, and the championship, but also fighting each other. Thankfully, the inter-team rivalry at McLaren has so far been handled fairly and evenly, with no significant favouritism one way or the other. Long may that continue.

Button leads the way at McLaren
Button leads the way at McLarenCredit: Pirelli & C. S.p.A.

There were some concerns last year over Hamilton's state of mind - understandable in the circumstances, but played out in a high pressure environment and very much in the public eye. For the coming year, the man himself is sure he's in good condition.

I actually feel more relaxed and ready for the new season than I think I've ever done... Obviously, this is always the time of year when you're feeling positive, but we've got plenty to look forward to. I'm going to get off the plane in Australia with a big smile on my face."

- Lewis Hamilton

Meanwhile, Button had a little chat with the BBC ahead a few weeks ago, and was asked a few questions from the fans.

I think his response to the question about the new nose is an interesting one. They hope it's just a different direction, and, if not better than everyone else, at least no worse. It may be very telling for McLaren that they have chosen a more visually appealing design for 2012, but even if it does mean they aren't as competitive as they hope, the battle between the drivers will go on all season long.

You can find more top ten things to look forward to in 2012 in the Pocket F1 Handbook, available now on Amazon. I'll be back tomorrow with another installment as we build up to the Australian Grand Prix.

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