Emerson Fittipaldi, James Hunt, Niki Lauda, Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna and Lewis Hamilton.

Just remember those names, particularly when somebody mentions that Jenson Button has made the wrong decision in  signing to drive for McLaren.

All these motor racing legends won world championship crowns at the wheel of a succession of highly competitive McLaren creations over the past three decades. 

And yet, this will be no magic carpet ride for the 2009 world champion.  Jackie Stewart is right when he says  that he’ll have a hard time getting his feet under the table in a team which Hamilton has very much made his own.

Hell, Lewis even managed to send twice world champ Fernando Alonso packing at the end of a 2007 season brimful of personal enmity. And this, don’t forget, was in Lewis's very first F1 campaign.

It will be different for Button. A decade of largely fruitless F1 endeavour  has left him more battle hardened that almost any of his contemporaries.  He also has the ideal demeanour – calm, controlled and measured – to handle Hamilton out on the circuit.

This will be a closely-matched contest which raises memories of Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna in 1988 and 89.  But without the relentlessly tense and unpleasant edge.

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