Ross Brawn has taken his hat off to the Michael Schumacher-type qualities that have helped Jenson Button emerge as the dominant force in Formula 1 this year.
With Button taking a brilliant last-gasp pole position for the Monaco Grand Prix, Brawn says that although the world championship leader has a different personality to Schumacher, they are showing remarkable similarities in their approach to the job in hand.
"I worked with Michael for 15 years and this is only my second year with Jenson, so it is very difficult to make comparisons," said Brawn.
"They are different types of character, but both are obviously highly talented. And I think this opportunity that Jenson has got has made him focus very hard on what is happening, what it is and why it is happening - so he is similar [to Michael] in that respect."
Brawn acknowledges that Button has upped his work ethic this year – with the Briton claiming earlier this weekend that success has turned him into a 'boring bastard'.
"Any competitive sportsperson, if he gets an opportunity, focuses on that opportunity," explained Brawn. "Of course it is like all of us – when you are at the sharp end and thinking about things, then it is in your thoughts all the time.
"Probably last year to be honest he was glad to forget about it, whereas this year he is enjoying thinking about it. I think both drivers do spend a lot of time discussing things with their engineers away from the track, so it is nice to hear – but it doesn't surprise me because last year he would be glad to forget what is going on. This year is different."
Brawn admitted he thought his team had lost the chance of pole position in the closing stages of qualifying – but that Button once again shocked him with his late effort.
When asked by AUTOSPORT if Button kept surprising him, Brawn said: "He does in a way. He kind of portrays an air of not going to do it, and then he does it. That is the thing that keeps surprising me.
"He just keeps doing it, and up until final qualifying I thought maybe first/second row of the grid, but the car did not look bad in race spec, so we could have an interesting race."