The 2009 Formula 1 world champion discussed Lewis Hamilton’s future
Former Formula 1 world champion Jenson Button is eager for Lewis Hamilton to remain in the sport, despite Mercedes‘ struggles this year.
Hamilton is sixth in the F1 driver standings and has had one of his worst starts to a season, regularly outperformed by new teammate George Russell.
The seven-time world champion has never experienced an F1 campaign without winning a race.
“I think when you’re winning, it’s always easy to stay somewhere,” Button told Total-Motorsport.com. “It’s very difficult to retire when you’re winning.
“This year it’s not horrific. People say ‘Oh, what’s happened to Mercedes’ but they are still the third best team and they will get better through the season.
“But when you’re off the podium consistently it’s a lot more difficult when you’ve been in the sport for so long, and you’ve won seven world championships like Lewis.
“I hope he stays in the sport, he’s great for the sport and he still has a lot of fight in him.”
Button remains one of the most experienced drivers to have driven in F1 with over 300 Grand Prix starts to his name.
Hamilton is 37 years old but Button believes age is just a number and the key to staying in F1 is all down to a driver’s motivation.
“I think if you still have the love for it and the passion I think you’re fine as long as you do a lot of reaction work, training and your fitness level is good,” said Button.
“There’s no reason, as Fernando Alonso has proven, that you can’t be super quick at 41 years old.”
Ferrari and Red Bull are the two teams out in front, with the latter appearing to have the best car in recent events.
Button thinks reliability could still play a decisive role in the championship, an area where Red Bull have been exposed this year.
“Ferrari still has more time with a wind tunnel than the Mercedes has for the first six months of the year,” added Button. “So it’s tricky for Mercedes to make up the big margins that they have to recover.
“I think Red Bull has the pace but the reliability has obviously been more of an issue for them.
“Ferrari has everything – the speed and reliability. The only thing they are struggling with is porpoising but it doesn’t seem to be slowing them down.”
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