Lewis Hamiltons ideal retirement plan as Jenson Button answers if its Brits last season

Lewis Hamilton refuses to let 2021 season ‘define’ his career

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Jenson Button has weighed in on rumours Lewis Hamilton could be set to quit F1, claiming the ideal way for him to leave would be to “go out on top”. Although, the 2009 champion said he still has “no idea” what his former team-mate could do in the coming years.

He added it is difficult walking away when “you’re on top” which could see the Mercedes driver extend his stay in the sport.

Speaking to Metro, he said: “I have no idea what he’s gonna do, sometimes you want to go out on top, but it’s difficult walking away when you’re on top when you can come back the year after and win again. Who knows. For me, it’s exciting to see him battling it out with people like Max and the Ferrari guys, with Charles [Leclerc] being competitive and quite an aggressive driver, as well, in the way he fights for position. This is what we want.”

Button’s own F1 career looked in jeopardy after 2008 when Honda pulled the plug on its F1 programme. Ross Brawn saved the team at the eleventh hour and oversaw the team to win the title in 2009.

Button then switched to McLaren for 2010 before ending his own F1 career in 2016.

Rumours Hamilton was set to quit F1 were sparked after he missed out on an eighth F1 crown in controversial circumstances in Abu Dhabi. Hamilton was leading in the closing stages before a late-race safety car saw Verstappen close up and pass on fresher tyres.

Mercedes team principle Toto Wolff claimed he was “disillusioned” with F1 and was unsure over his future. Ahead of the new season, Hamilton said he did not consider quitting F1 but “lost a little bit of faith within the system” after the outcome of Abu Dhabi.

He signed a two-year extension to his F1 contract last season, keeping him at the Silver Arrows until 2023. Mercedes has struggled in the first part of 2022 and was the third-fastest car at Bahrain last weekend.

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This week, Martin Brundle has claimed Hamilton could be tempted to leave F1 if his car was not competitive.

He said: “If he goes through the whole year and Mercedes are third fastest and others are catching them up, then I suspect he’ll take a different view and my enjoyment analogy will play out in that he won’t be enjoying it anymore. I think he’s still hugely motivated. I think even despite being 37 years old he’s still at the peak of his talent. George Russell will push him hard, and I think he’ll have an answer for that.

He added: “Lewis has so many ambitions to change many things around the world — I really admire him for that — and he knows that Formula 1’s a platform to be able to do that. So I think as long as he’s still on balance enjoying it and he’s fast enough, he’ll keep doing it, and I think he’ll see beyond a bit of a bumpy ride.”

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