ISTANBUL, May 31 (Reuters) - McLaren’s world champion drivers will not fall into the same trap as Red Bull’s colliding team mates, according to Turkish Grand Prix winner Lewis Hamilton.
“It won’t happen with me and Jenson,” the 2008 world champion told Reuters after he led reigning champion Jenson Button to a one-two finish after the Red Bull drivers had wrecked their chances.
Asked how he could be so certain, particularly after a race in which the McLarens jousted with each other in the closing stages, Hamilton replied: “We’re both world champions, we’re both professionals, we both have a huge amount of respect for each other.
“We want to finish the race, we do both want to win, but not in an aggressive manner,” continued the 25-year-old Briton.
“When I win he is happy for me and vice versa.
“For sure, you want to be ahead, so if you finish second you’re not the happiest. However, he is a very supportive team mate and he is doing a solid job.
“We had a great battle out there and he wasn’t aggressive, he wasn’t silly, he didn’t make any stupid mistakes, and that’s why we had a good battle,” said Hamilton after his first victory of the season.
“I have no doubts the rest of the year will be the same.”
While Australian Mark Webber and Germany’s Sebastian Vettel blamed each other for the crash that cost Red Bull the constructors’ championship lead and Webber a third win in a row, Hamilton sang his team mate’s praises.
Button is now second in the world championship and Hamilton third, with only four points between them and 12 races remaining.
The two fought for the lead after the Red Bull collision, with Button momentarily getting ahead of Hamilton before the younger Englishman regained the lead.
“I wouldn’t compare him to anyone that I’ve driven with,” said Hamilton.
“He is a unique driver in his own way. He’s been nothing but a positive energy on the team, he’s polite to me, he is a great bloke to get on with.
“We get on well, we work well together on and off the circuit and I feel it’s great to have my team mate supporting me in the races as well. He was right there behind me, helping me fight with the Red Bulls.”
“I think that’s the first time he’s overtaken me (this season) and the second time I’ve overtaken him,” he said of the overtaking move and rubbing salt in Red Bull’s wounds.
“It’s a good experience. You learn more from that about each other, about the space you give one another and how composed you stay through pressure.
“We still got a one-two. It was a professional drive from two team mates. You can’t ask for more from a team.”
Editing by Pritha Sarkar; To query or comment on this story email email@example.com
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