McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh believes that Jenson Button's amazing triumph in the Canadian Grand Prix was not just the Briton's best ever win – he thinks it one of the greatest victories in the history of the sport.
Button came through two crashes – one with teammate Lewis Hamilton and one with Fernando Alonso – a drive-through penalty, and five additional pit stops to grab the lead on the final lap of the race from Sebastian Vettel. Whitmarsh was amazed with the performance and thinks considering Button had dropped to the back of the field at one point of the event, his comeback should go down as one of the finest-ever F1 performances.
"I think it was one of the best wins in the history of F1, let alone his," explained Whitmarsh. "I think it was incredible. Absolutely fantastic.
"There were punctures, he had to change the front wing, and from 21st I don't know how many times he had to overtake people. He just drove fantastically well.
"He kept focused. He applied as much pressure as he had to to get past and really did a fantastic job. This was 90 percent him and 10 percent the car. He did a great, great, great job."
As well as praising Button's performance, Whitmarsh also believes that critics should back off Hamilton following another difficult race. Hamilton collided with Mark Webber at the first corner and then crashed with Button as he tried to recover through the field, prompting F1 legend Lauda to suggest the FIA should take action against him. Whitmarsh said he was "not interested" in what Lauda had to say, and reckoned that Hamilton's aggression was what made him the special driver he is.
"I think Lewis is a passionate racing driver and he has to go for those instances, whether you look at it statistically or objectively," he added.
"I want Lewis to attack – I don't want him to have contact with cars, but at the same time if he holds back for fear of having contact he will not be the great racer he is, he will not do the job he has to do.
"He has had an unfortunate run, but I think he will continue to be a very tough racer and I am sure he will have many successes ahead in his career."