Lewis Hamilton has urged former team McLaren not to ditch Jenson Button.
Button’s future is currently in limbo as McLaren have yet to make a decision on their driver line-up for 2015.
It is understood McLaren are waiting on Fernando Alonso to negotiate his settlement with Ferrari – the Spaniard is leaving the team at the end of the season with a year remaining on his contract.
Until then McLaren have to hold fire on making an announcement, with the choice appearing a straight one as to whether they opt for young gun Kevin Magnussen or the more experienced Button.
Hamilton, who partnered Button at McLaren for three years from 2010-2012, believes the decision should be a no-brainer for Group CEO Ron Dennis.
“Jenson is better than most of the [current] drivers,” assessed Hamilton. “He’s a great driver, still one of the strongest drivers here, and he’s had an amazing career. He’s also a decent guy, so it doesn’t correlate...
“If I had a team, I would want him in it because he’s a great asset for any team, so I hope it’s not the case [he is leaving].”
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Hamilton believes McLaren’s judgment is clouded by the fact they have been winless for the past two years.
The 29-year-old added: “He still has plenty of time, given his ability as a driver, to keep racing and winning. He just needs to be given a better car. It’s not the team need a better driver – there are not many out there. They just need a better car.”
Hamilton has found an ally in the ‘Keep Button in F1’ campaign in the man set to replace the veteran Briton – Alonso.
The double world champion said: “He’s a very talented driver, we’ve seen that throughout his career, and also he’s a very nice person. We need people like him in F1. I hope he will be here next year.”
Hamilton, meanwhile, heads into tomorrow’s Brazilian Grand Prix feeling calm despite the prospect of his second world title fast looming into view.
Five successive victories have propelled Hamilton into a 24-point lead over Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg with two races remaining, albeit with double points available in the last event in Abu Dhabi. A nerveless Hamilton said: “I don’t have any fears. Honestly, you can look in my eyes, I don’t have any fears.
“I feel like where I am today is not down to luck. I’m not where I am today by mistake. I really think I’ve utilised every experience or opportunity I’ve had this year, or at least recovered if I have not utilised them. In these next two races I’m going to do everything I can, and whatever the result at the end, it is the way it is, but I will know I did everything I could. That’s a good feeling to have and perhaps why I’m excited to be here and get in the car tomorrow.”
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