Lewis Hamilton says that team-mate Jenson Button was able to perform so well last season because of his relationship with his technical team.

11637 - Button has built strong team around him, says Hamilton

Button finished second in last year's drivers' championship standings and outscored team-mate Hamilton by a comprehensive 43 points, surprising many experts who expected the 2008 champion to come out on top in the team battle.

But Button's wily race craft, combined with many uncharacteristic mistakes from Hamilton, saw the man from Frome come out on top.

"Jenson is very quick and he's gathered a strong team of technicians around him," said Hamilton in La Gazzetta dello Sport. "I'd like to be ahead of him all the time, and I'm not happy if the opposite happens."

Despite being beaten by a team-mate for the first time in his Formula One career, Hamilton says there is a healthy competitive relationship between the drivers.

"However, psychologically it's absolutely not a problem. Besides, he's an open and cheerful guy who I get along with. It would be nice to fight for the 2012 championship with him -- that's just up to McLaren."