Formula One driver Jenson Button has backed his old McLaren team-mate, Lewis Hamilton to continue racing and eventually clinch a record-breaking eighth world title despite his ongoing silence following the controversial end to the 2021 world championship.
Button added that the seven-time champion Hamilton will return to seek his record eight F1 titles.
Hamilton has been conspicuous by his absence from social media since the debacle in the desert but Button does not believe the 37-year-old will retire yet especially being tied with Michael Schumacher on seven world championships.
“I haven’t got a clue but I do know I was the only person to interview Lewis after the last race,” said Button in an interview for ITV’s Good Morning Britain. “I really do hope he will be racing. I think he will be racing. He wants to win that eighth title and be the most decorated Formula 1 driver in F1 history. And he will do that, I really do think so.”
However, Hamilton hasn’t spoken publicly since he was interviewed by Button ahead of the podium ceremony at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Button, who was promoting his television series, admitted the Abu Dhabi race was a controversial end to the 2021 season.
“(It was) a controversial end to the season but I really do think you have to look at the season as a whole. Formula 1 is in an amazing place, two fantastic drivers going at it every weekend. I think everyone’s excited about the new season, the new regulations, and it’s all about the development of these cars through the year,” said Button who drove alongside Hamilton at McLaren from 2010 to 2012.
Hamilton and Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff refused to attend the FIA’s post-season prize giving as the team was outraged by F1 race director Michael Masi’s decision to break with convention in his handling of the last-lap restart of the final round.
Earlier last year Hamilton signed a deal to continue driving for Mercedes for the next two seasons. But his continued silence has prompted speculation he may not return.