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MAY 9, 2001

Stewart raps Button

JACKIE STEWART, three times a world champion, has publicly castigated British youngster Jenson Button for enjoying himself too much in Formula 1. Stewart, renowned for his 'staircase of talent' approach to bringing on young drivers such as David Coulthard and Luciano Burti,said: "Jenson has a high skill level, but there are lots of those drivers around and he should be giving priority to his racing."

Button is currently flailing round at the back of the grid in this year's uncompetitive Benetton Renault, but Stewart believes that despite the lack of on-track excitement coming the way of Button as he battles with the Minardi and Arrows drivers he should stay completely focused on the job in hand after a stunning debut season with Williams.

"I do worry that he has had too much too soon. He's been in Formula 1 for a year and already he's moved to Monaco and is earning a lot of money. Maybe it can work for him, but I know from my own experience that it wouldn't have worked for me.

Stewart feels that the excitement that surrounded Button's arrival in Formula 1 was a little premature and that he is not yet a complete driver. "He wasn't that special," he said.