Niki Lauda, a winner of F1's most coveted prize on three occasions, insists Jenson Button deserves to enter the history books as the latest world champion.

Niki Lauda, a winner of F1's most coveted prize on three occasions, insists Jenson Button deserves to enter the history books as the latest world champion.

Although the British press turned the corner on Sunday to mainly hail its latest sporting star, 29-year-old Button has been criticised in recent weeks for enjoying a championship lead but not driving like a true title winner.

Sections of the international media picked up a similar theme when reflecting on Sunday's Brazilian grand prix, where the Brawn driver put his rivals Rubens Barrichello and Sebastian Vettel out of mathematical contention by finishing fifth.

"This strange world championship has rewarded the calmest driver," observed Italy's Corriere dello Sport.

Tuttosport added: "Button, master of the championship to forget", while Spain's Marca called the Briton a "transitional champion" before McLaren and Ferrari return to full strength in 2010.

Lauda said: "First of all a world champion is a world champion. In the end, nobody cares how or why you do it, so you have to give him your full respect.

"But I agree we have seen some other world championships won in a more steely and more competitive way over a season," the great Austrian added.

 

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