Jenson Button defends McLaren team-mate Lewis Hamilton
Jenson Button has defended McLaren team-mate Lewis Hamilton following their collision in Sunday's Canadian Grand Prix.
Three-time world champion Niki Lauda had declared Hamilton, who also touched Red Bull's Mark Webber, to be "completely mad".
"I don't agree with Niki," said Button. "I think Lewis's driving style is aggressive and he always goes for gaps.
"Sometimes he's right, sometimes he's not, but it's the same for all of us."
Hamilton was twice penalised by stewards at the Monaco Grand Prix for collisions with Ferrari's Felipe Massa and Williams' Pastor Maldonado.
But in the space of three true racing laps in Canada - the first four being led by the safety car because of the wet Montreal weather - Hamilton was involved in three separate incidents.
He tagged and spun Webber, before running wide as he attempted a pass on Michael Schumacher.
Then, on the first corner of lap eight, Hamilton collided with Button as he looked to pass his team-mate, hit a wall and was forced to retire after puncturing his left-rear tyre.
"Obviously I'm very sorry I collided with Lewis," added Button, who went on to win the race by passing Sebastian Vettel on the final lap.
"We spoke about it, and it's one of those things. I didn't know he was there. He went for a move, we collided, which is sad for both of us.
"Initially it played on my mind because you never want to crash with your team-mate. It's the worst thing to do.
"But we spoke about it and he was very good actually. He was one of the first people to congratulate me after the race, which was really nice to see."
Hamilton was summoned to speak to the stewards but escaped punishment.
However, the 26-year-old declined to speak to the British media, not out of any anger at his collision with Button, but believing that his fellow Englishman deserved the limelight.
"He's a racer, a fighter," said Button. "For me that is the reason why I wanted to be here [at McLaren], against and with a driver that is super talented, one of the best drivers Formula 1 has ever seen.
"It's good challenging him on the circuit. We have a lot of respect for each other.
"We've raced each other a lot this year and last year, and we've never touched. We've always given each other room. For me that's a great position to be in."