Wise Button putting Hamilton in the shade
What are you doing, the suggestion clearly was, voluntarily deciding to go up against the fastest driver in the world in a team that has nurtured him since he was 11 years old?
How stupid do those queries look now after Button's win in China on Sunday, his second brilliant victory in the first four races, after which he now leads the world championship by 10 points?
I was one of the many people questioning the wisdom of Button's move, but if the world champion himself ever had any similar doubts, he never betrayed them.
Displaying the maturity that has become striking in Button since the start of his world title-winning season last year, the 30-year-old never lost patience with his questioners.
He talked about wanting to take on the "huge challenge" of racing Hamilton in the same car, and repeatedly emphasised that no-one knew what was going to happen.
"Nobody knows who is going to come out on top in any team," Button told me at the launch of McLaren's 2010 car, "and that's why we're going racing - to fight it out. At the end of the year we will see who is going to do the best job. For now, we are going to work together and improve this car hopefully better than anyone else."
Both of Button's victories have shared similar characteristics, in that they hinged on making the right calls on tyres in races in mixed weather conditions.
In Australia, Button was the first driver to switch to dry-weather tyres as the track dried after a wet start. During a thrilling Chinese Grand Prix on Sunday, the opposite thing happened and Button stayed out on dry-weather 'slick' tyres during an early-race shower while many other leading drivers - including Hamilton - changed to intermediates.
Both decisions put Button into second place. In Australia, he benefited from a failure on Sebastian Vettel's Red Bull, but in China he chased down the Mercedes of the impressive Nico Rosberg, who had also stayed out on slicks, and took the lead on lap 19 - the lap before he finally made the switch to intermediates.
From that point on the race was his to lose, and Button is far too good in the tricky, slippery conditions China produced to do that. And he survived plenty of drama to come in the shape of a second safety-car period, the need to come in for another set of tyres, fending off a charge from Hamilton, and hanging on as those tyres wore badly in the closing laps.
In many ways, it was Button's ability to hold off Hamilton that was the most impressive aspect of another superb performance.
Hamilton is renowned for his stunning ability in slippery conditions, but Button proved to everyone what has been obvious so far only to some - that he is arguably just as good as his team-mate when the track is wet.
The battle between Button and Hamilton was one of many aspects that always promised to make this season so fascinating, and so far it has more than lived up to its billing.
Trouble was expected at McLaren as these two big beasts of the F1 jungle went head to head, but so far Button and Hamilton seem to be approaching their tussle in exactly the right frame of mind - they work together off the track and they go at it hammer and tongs on it.
The relationship might yet explode, but so far there is no sign of it. In fact, the off-track dynamic between the two men is fascinating.
I noticed in Bahrain at the start of the season that Button was very much taking the lead in the news conferences, and Hamilton was almost deferring to him as the older, wiser man. I haven't been to the last three races, but my BBC colleagues tell me that pattern continues. We'll explore this in more depth at another time.
On the track, Button might have had the better of the results so far, but this battle is far from over. Hamilton might be 11 points adrift in the championship, but he has been quicker than his team-mate in three of the four races so far.
He was much faster than Button in Melbourne - in fact, it was being passed by Hamilton that prompted the older man to make his early stop. And Hamilton also had the edge in the races in both Bahrain and Malaysia. Yet Button has beaten Hamilton in qualifying three times out of four. It looks like being the story that keeps on giving.
The same goes for the intra-team battle at Mercedes, which has also confounded many of the pundits.
The biggest story of the winter was Michael Schumacher's return to F1 after three years in retirement. Would the German legend have made that decision if he knew his season would start the way it has?
Schumacher is being trounced by team-mate Rosberg and, despite the protestations of both himself and his team, there is no sign of that changing at the moment.
Rosberg has been impressive, no doubt, and his podium finish in China was probably the best performance of his career, resisting a charging Fernando Alonso for third place in the closing laps. And on the evidence of this season so far it is hard to argue with his race engineer Jock Clear's contention after the race that Rosberg is championship material if Mercedes can give him a good enough car.
But the problem Rosberg has in terms of what his performances mean for his wider standing within F1 is that it's clear the Schumacher he is racing is a pale shadow of the man who dominated F1 through the first half of the 'noughties'.
Schumacher is clearly struggling badly with the Mercedes. His car does not look set up well and the great man was talking in China about lacking rear grip, after struggling with the front end so far this year.
Mercedes are working hard to develop the car in a direction that creates the balance Schumacher prefers - a 'pointy' one more biased towards oversteer.
What is so strange about Schumacher's struggles, though, is that in his previous career it never seemed to matter how the car was set up. He could drive any car in any conditions and be faster than his team-mate. The contrast with his performances so far this season could not be more stark.
For all the protestations that he is doing well for a 41-year-old, that he has to be given time to get up to speed, this is not why Schumacher returned to F1. As he made clear to the BBC when his comeback was announced, he came back to battle at the front.
So far, Mercedes have been very supportive, as you would expect, but I thought the answer team boss Ross Brawn gave Martin Brundle before the race was very interesting. Why is Michael off the pace, Brundle asked? "Good question," Brawn replied.
Schumacher may well get it together but it is taking far longer than expected and after four races it is getting to the point where it is legitimate to ask whether he ever will. Even more than the intra-team battle at McLaren, this is one to watch.
It was a great grand prix, China - the third good one in a row - with impressive performances from all the drivers in the top four.
Hamilton drove brilliantly as he came through the field after his early tyre stop, and that Alonso was excellent in recovering from a drive-through penalty to finish fourth was overshadowed by all the other drama, but the Spaniard is rapidly establishing himself as the unquestioned main man at Ferrari after outpacing Felipe Massa comprehensively for the third race in a row.
Still there has not been a straightforward dry race in which it is possible to judge the comparative performances of the front-runners. Red Bull may well be the car to beat but I suspect it is much closer with Ferrari, particularly, and probably also McLaren, than many are saying at the moment.