Since the Formula 1 season finale in Abu Dhabi, where Lewis Hamilton lost a possible eighth title to Max Verstappen under controversial circumstances, there have been rumors of the seven-time world champion retiring. There is even speculation about possible successors at Mercedes.
However, Hamilton’s former McLaren team-mate Jenson Button is optimistic the 37-year-old will return. “I think he will continue to race,” says the Formula 1 expert and Williams advisor on “Good Morning Britain”.
“He wants to win the eighth title to become the most decorated Formula 1 driver in history,” said Button. “And he will. I really believe that.”
The 2009 world champion isn’t the only one who believes Hamilton will be on the 2022 starting line-up as originally planned – his contract runs through 2023. McLaren boss Zak Brown is also expecting a return.
“He’s a racer. He’s at the peak of his ability. Sure, he’s very angry. But I think racers want to race. And I think he’s a fighter. He’ll come back and try to get his eighth title ” Brown said recently in an outlook for the 2022 season.
Jenson Button sees Formula 1 in a strong position
“I don’t think he’s ready to retire. That’s my very personal take on that. Because once you quit, you quit. I guess you could come back, like some have, but I don’t think he’s ready to stop.” Especially not because of Abu Dhabi.
Although the events have damaged Formula 1’s credibility and image, Button sees the sport in a strong position at the moment. “The end of the season was controversial, but I think you have to look at the season as a whole,” he explains.
“Formula 1 is in an amazing position, two fantastic drivers fight each other every weekend. And I think everyone is excited about the new season,” says the 42-year-old, looking forward to 2022. “There are new rules and it works about developing the cars further over the course of the year.”