Hamilton will not walk away from F1 – Button
By Ian Parkes
Thursday 4th May, 2023 - 7:52am
Jenson Button is adamant Lewis Hamilton will not walk away from F1 at the end of this season because he is no longer winning.
The 2009 F1 champion, who spent three years as Hamilton’s team-mate with McLaren from 2010-12, is instead convinced his fellow Britonis driven by the hunger to become an eight-time title-winner.
Unfortunately for Hamilton, he is currently enduring the longest winless steak of his F1 career that now stretches to 27 grands prix.
Following a long period of domination, Mercedes has failed to fully adapt to the latest aerodynamic era following the introduction of new rules at the start of last year.
And with Hamilton yet to put pen to paper on another contract extension with the team, that has sparked speculation he could walk away once his current deal expires in seven months’ time.
Button, though, has no doubt that will not be the case.
“I don’t think Lewis is going to walk away from the sport,” said Button.
“As a racing driver, there are two things. One is if you’ve been winning for so long and then suddenly not, you want to fight back to win, so you’re not going to retire.
“To come at it another way, if you’re in a bad car for many years, you want to retire because it just gets you down.
“But Lewis is not in a bad car. He’s just in a car that is not as good as what he is used to.”
At present, Red Bull has taken over from Mercedes as the dominant team, with Max Verstappen now a two-time champion and in an early battle with team-mate Sergio Perez to add a third.
Heading into this weekend’s Miami Grand Prix, Verstappen holds a six-point lead over Perez after the Mexican driver scored sprint and grand prix victories over the weekend in Azerbaijan.
Hamilton, meanwhile, is a yawning 45-points adrift.
With Mercedes due to unveil the first of its upgrade packages at the following race in Imola, Button feels there will be a convergence under the current rules and that Red Bull will be caught.
“He (Hamilton) knows the strength of the team,” added Button.
“He knows how quick he is still and they’re going to work together to get back to fighting with Red Bull, and I think they will.
“It probably won’t be this year, but in 2024, I think we see Lewis on the grid.
“He’s still hungry, and he’s still hungry to win another world championship.”
Join the discussion below in the Speedcafe.com comments section
Please note: Speedcafe.com reserves the right to remove any comment that does not follow the comment policy. For support, contact [email protected]