Hamilton hasn’t said anything in public since the controversial F1 season finale in Abu Dhabi, where the FIA’s handling of a safety car restart opened the door for rival Max Verstappen to claim the championship crown. pilots.
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said Hamilton was disappointed with F1 following the events, while FIA president Mohammed bin Sulayem acknowledged the seven-time champion felt “broken”.
But while the question of whether or not Hamilton will return to F1 continues to be raised, the former title winner Button is optimistic that his former partner McLaren will return as he aims for his eighth crown.
During an appearance on UK TV show Good Morning Britain on Wednesday, Button said: “I really hope he runs.
“I think he’s going to race and he wants to win that eighth title to be the most decorated Formula 1 driver in F1 history. And he will. I really mean it.
Jenson Button, JBXE Extreme-E Team
Photo by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images
Button is not the only F1 figurehead to believe Hamilton will be on the starting grid when the new season begins in Bahrain.
McLaren CEO Zak Brown said earlier this month: “I think he will be back.
“He’s a racing driver. I think he is at the top of his game. Of course, he is very angry. But I think race car drivers want to race, and I think he’s a fighter.
“I think he’ll want to come back and try to win an eighth championship. I don’t think he’s ready to retire.
“These are my personal opinions on this, because once you hang it [the helmet] up, you hang up.
“I guess you could come back like some have, but I don’t think he’s ready to hang up. And I don’t think he’s going to let one incident put him out of business.
While the events in Abu Dhabi have damaged F1’s credibility and image, Button still believes the sport is in a good place at the moment.
“Controversial end to the season, but I think you have to look at the season as a whole,” he explained.
“F1 is in an amazing place, two fantastic drivers are there every weekend. And I think everyone is excited about the new season. New regulations, and it’s all about the development of these cars throughout the season. ‘year.