McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh says Lewis Hamilton will use his victory in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as a springboard to lift himself to another level of driving, as he moves away from the troubles that have dogged him over the past few months.
Whitarsh reckons that Hamilton's triumph at the Yas Marina circuit showed that the 2008 World Champion was now back to his best.
"There is no reason why, in my mind, he cannot raise himself to another level now," said Whitmarsh. "I think this was a great recovery from where he has been in the last few months, and he can do greater things even than this.
"I think he is pretty happy with this one. You can see that in him and that enables people to drive with greater confidence and to attack that little bit extra. We are looking forward now to getting to Brazil and having another race, which is good."
Hamilton has endured widely reported difficulties in his private life recently, and said ahead of the Abu Dhabi weekend that he felt it important to surround himself in a "happy bubble" of friends and family next year to get himself fully focused on the job he needs to do. The honesty about his difficulties offered a glimpse about the progress he has made in addressing the issues that he has faced, and Whitmarsh thinks that being able to deliver a win right now was vital to help Hamilton speed that process along.
"I think it was an important win, but they are all important," he explained. "I think he has been strong all weekend, strong through practice, and he came here with a good frame of mind and focused.
"It didn't quite work out in qualifying, as we thought we should have been on pole and we weren't, but the outcome we have had was great. It was good for Lewis to reset where he is and where he is at in his head. It also means both drivers have got three great wins apiece this year, and I am sure both of them can make it four by the end of the season."
Although the results of the Abu Dhabi GP mean that it is now impossible for Hamilton to overhaul Button in the title standings, which means he will be beaten by a teammate for the first time in his Formula 1 career, Whitmarsh does not think that holds much significance.
"I think this season has been a challenging one for him," he said. "He has done a great job here, and he will focus on the positives of that. And, as I say, he will now be saying, 'When can I get to Brazil? I love that circuit!' It is a fantastic circuit, and he will want to win there."