Button: Hamilton will be roaring back

Jenson Button has no doubts Lewis Hamilton will make his critics eat their words for the remainder of the season.

Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button

Hamilton has this week admitted to enduring "the most testing year" of his Formula One career after an array of accidents, incidents, penalties, and then in Singapore, a fall-out with Felipe Massa.

The 26-year-old now has five grands prix, starting on Sunday in Japan, with which to try and set the record straight and at least find some happiness ahead of the winter break.

Button, in a sweet spot in his life and career right now, believes his McLaren team-mate will again prove himself to be one of the best in the business.

"It's always the case when you're a world champion, you're very fast and with a top team, people are going to talk about you," said Button.

"It is the way it is and not an easy situation for anybody to be in, but as a driver Lewis is very strong and it's not going to slow him down.

"Lewis is an exceptional driver, really fast, and we're going to see that for the rest of the season."

As for Button, who this week signed a new multi-year deal to remain at McLaren, it is clear he could not be happier.

For example, Button sent out a Twitpic of himself and girlfriend Jessica Michibata, complete with his own glove puppet and one of Bernie Ecclestone that are on sale at the Suzuka circuit.

"I've had lots of ups and downs," said Button in reflection on his career.

"In 2009, that was a very special year for me, winning the world title, and in the first few races I was unbeatable. I was driving pretty well then.

"But I've grown as a person, as a driver, I'm more confident in my ability, and my ability to work closely with the team.

"I feel the team really listen to what I have to say, which means a lot to me, means they believe in me.

"So as a whole, as a complete driver, I'm better now than I've ever been."

Button, meanwhile, heads into qualifying as seemingly the man to beat following a clean sweep in practice, the Briton finishing half a second ahead of Hamilton with a lap of one minute 31.255secs.

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