Hamilton: Button success not impacting my form

    Lewis Hamilton won the 2008 Formula One drivers' championship but is fifth this season.

    Story highlights

    • Lewis Hamilton rejects idea Jenson Button's success is putting him under pressure
    • Hamilton is fifth in drivers' championship while McLaren teammate Button is second
    • British 2008 world champion says personal problems have affected his season
    • Hamilton confident that he can improve his fortunes in 2012 season
    McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton has scotched claims by his own team principal that teammate Jenson Button's success this Formula One season has impacted on his own performances.
    The British driver, world champion in 2008, is languishing fifth in the drivers' championship -- 172 points behind leader Sebastian Vettel, who has already secured the title, and 38 behind Button, who is second.
    Hamilton has two victories to Button's three this season and has been involved in a string of collisions, mostly with Ferrari's Brazilian driver Felipe Massa.
    But he rejected claims by McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh that Button's form in 2011 has been a factor in his disappointing campaign.
    "I would not say so," he told Formula One's official web site. "Jenson is good at the moment and that is only good for the team. I always said that if Jenson proves to be better than me I would need to do a better job and improve.
    "He has put himself in a better position than me this year and on top of that he has managed to stay out of trouble. He has got a good group of people around him and they are there all the time. He has done a great job but this doesn't affect me at all. "
    Hamilton recently split with his girlfriend, singer Nicole Scherzinger, and is no longer managed by his father Anthony.
    The 26-year-old says that the settled team Button has assembled around him has helped his teammate's performances, while his own lack of a positive "bubble" has affected his form.
    "Jenson's got his Dad, who's there at every single race, he's got his manager, he's got his friends and his girlfriend there all the time," he said.
    "He's got a great bubble around him and with that he's able to go out there and perform without any worries on his mind. I lost that bubble. It is a priority for me to create that atmosphere around myself because it's a happy bubble."
    Hamilton admits he already has one eye on next year and is determined to get back into contention for the drivers' championship in 2012.
    "Of course I am thinking about how to change things for the better next year. And I do feel confident about that. I know the right direction to take for next year and I know how to make things better."