Jenson Button on ‘loyal’ Lewis Hamilton joining Max Verstappen at Red Bull

Lewis Hamilton is yet to sign a new contract for the 2024 F1 season, with speculation suggesting he could join Ferrari.

2009 Formula 1 World Champion Jenson Button is certain that former McLaren team-mate Lewis Hamilton isn’t “going to retire” from Formula 1 at the end of 2023, even if Mercedes remain uncompetitive.

The seven-time World Champion has just over six months remaining on his current deal with the Silver Arrows, with an extension yet to be signed.

As a result, Hamilton’s future has been a huge talking point, with many wondering if he’ll ditch the Germans in an attempt to claim his eighth Drivers’ Championship.

This looks almost certain to not be the case, though, with Hamilton and Mercedes boss Toto Wolff having expressed to the media that a new deal will be signed at some point this season.

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According to reports, Hamilton is expected to sign a multi-year extension with the Brackley-based team, keeping him in the sport until the end of 2025 at the very least.

Given the current situation Hamilton finds himself in, Mercedes appear to be his only real option for the future anyway, with Button noting that the likes of Red Bull, Ferrari, and Aston Martin don’t have an available spot for him for at least another year.

“Well, he’s loyal, but I also don’t think he’s got the options that he would want,” said Button.

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“I don’t really think he would have the option at Red Bull – I don’t think he would be the right fit alongside Max [Verstappen].

“I don’t think he’d be at Ferrari. Aston Martin? Definitely won’t be going to Aston Martin – they’ve got two seats that are going to be filled there for a little while. I think his future will be at Mercedes but he is also a loyal character and it’s good to see him going through some tough times with that team.

“I think they will come out the other side together, you know? It’s a rollercoaster in Formula 1, especially when you’ve been on top for that long, there’s going to be a dip. But if you can stay with that team, they will rise to the top again – he’s not going to retire.”