Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen, Yas Marina, 2021

Button confident Hamilton will return to seek record eighth F1 title

2022 F1 season

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Lewis Hamilton’s former team mate Jenson Button believes the Mercedes driver will return to Formula 1 this year, despite his ongoing silence following the controversial end to the 2021 world championship.

The seven-times champion hasn’t spoken publicly since he was interviewed by Button ahead of the podium ceremony at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. 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.

Button drove alongside Hamilton at McLaren from 2010 to 2012. He suspects his former team mate will return an attempt to break Michael Schumacher’s record of winning 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.”

Button, who was promoting his television series Radford Returns, admitted the Abu Dhabi race was “a controversial end to the season but 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,” he said. “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.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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24 comments on “Button confident Hamilton will return to seek record eighth F1 title”

  1. Jenson Button, 2012:
    “Lewis Hamilton has made the wrong decision leaving McLaren for Mercedes.”



    1. Not sure why this is a surprise given Button was contracted to McLaren at the time.

      What should he have said, “Wish I could leave too, but I’m stuck here for another 3 years?”

    2. It was ‘wrong’ decision… McLaren had better car, better facilities, good teammate..

      Kinda like when Alonso made the ‘right’ decission to join Ferrari.

      Always for the very right reasons.

      Maybe Mercedes told him *wink wink*, their engine for 2014 is looking strong and they will give customer teams worse performance.

      The rest is history.

      But if he wants to be the undisputed GOAT, he needs to come back and beat these young pretenders.

      It seems the only time recently a second team had a good car he lost WDC.

      1. Schumacher lost to Alonso in 2006 as well.

      2. There’s 2018 as well, that ferrari was good, vettel wasn’t.

  2. Got to be honest, I don’t really care who stays or who goes, F1 is infinitely bigger than any driver. F1 will go on and there will be great competition and great Champions.
    I agree Lewis will probably race, but I am not that sure he will win another Drivers Championship.

    1. Really depends on the car, he definitely can win if merc makes the best car, but I’d like to see what he can do if his car isn’t best.

  3. Not sure if some quotes starting with “I haven’t got a clue” is worth a separate article :P

  4. Of course he will return. Its all part of the pr game each year.
    Optimised till the extreme.

  5. He will definitely be coming back. If there was any suggestion that he wasn’t, we’d have heard about Mercedes sounding out potential replacements before now.

    Presumably this is about putting pressure on the FIA to ensure their investigation of Abu Dhabi isn’t a total whitewash, from a Mercedes perspective. If so, it might have worked in the days and weeks following the end of the season, but it is unconvincing now.

    1. Yeah, makes sense to keep that pressure on for a while.

  6. Wouldnt know why he wouldnt come back. He is just enjoying some time off. The rest is all media speculation. The media is a growing concern in todays society, not the FIA nor Hamilton.

  7. Oh they’re still pretending he’s leaving huh. Must suck for Merc to find a replacement two weeks before testing lmao.

    This is the problem with Toto and why I find him so unlikable. Could’ve made his point without going for the hyperbole and hinting that “Hamilton could totally leave you guys, he feels so bad!” But nope, here we are, two months of hot takes from pundits and journalists alike on a vague threat. Thanks for that one, Toto. I’m understanding that Merc is angry, but just be angry and drop the theatrics.

    1. I think Toto’s ‘problem’ is that he went into a new season confident he would have a WDC driver on a two year contract in one of his cars once before. And that didn’t turn out too well.
      And 6 laps before the end of this last season their were many throughout F1 including within Mercedes who were half expecting Ham to walk away after that race as well.
      Toto would have been pretty stupid to offer driver guarantees before the dust had even settled on the 2021 season.

  8. Or to put it another way. Hamilton disappeared up a mountain in Colorado at the end of the season, had his family and friends there over the two week xmas period, and then started training for the new season the week after new year. As he has done for the past few years.

  9. I can’t believe we’re still talking up this rubbish. As if. It’s nearly February. Of course he’s racing. There never was a doubt. As if people with that much drive quit just like that.

    Looking forward to you all taking me down now with good real-world examples. Thanks in advance. :O)

  10. He can come back, or not, it doesn’t matter.

    If he doesn’t there will still be 20 cars racing in F1 – Champions all stop racing at some point.

    If he does – we’ll see if he is fired up and if he and his new car can win Number 8.

  11. Honestly, does someone really thinks he won’t come back? Sigh…

    1. Absolutely agree. A driver with every conceivable chance of writing himself into the record books, contracted to a team which ended the year with the fastest car and has demonstrated itself eminently able to adapt to changing regulations and develop a car throughout a season, who just fought tooth and nail for a championship where he openly relished the prospect of serious competition, who has been around long enough to understand the often ambiguous and murky application of rules and political machinations of F1, is suddenly so disillusioned that he’s going to abandon mid-contract the team that gave him the platform for historic success? I really think it’s a nonsense.

      I don’t even think this is propagated by Hamilton – to me, Mercedes ended the year clear winners in the PR stakes with the narrative of unjust defeat. I don’t even blame them. But if Hamilton was seriously thinking of not returning, he would have set those wheels in motion long before now – knowing the fallout caused by Rosberg’s departure in 2016 and the potential blight on his reputation of walking away from a fight in 2022.

      1. Yet, Rosberg had most of these points going for him at the end of 2016 apart from the record breaking… and ran away like a little baby

  12. Scoop!! Sir just signed with Haas for the next 12 years, you heard it first

    Just to show the world Sir can win 12 more WDCs in a Haas, hands tied behind the the back and eyes blinded. And with no fuel in the car for good measure.

    1. @hyoko – Apology, I think I accidentally reported your comment. Not intentional

  13. Yes, I normally don’t buy into rumors, example people were saying bottas would be replaced by russell way before me because I thought toto wanted to insist getting an easy team mate to beat for hamilton, but then people were right, in this case though it seems very unrealistic hamilton would leave and mercedes, which until the opposite is proven, is still the strongest team performance wise, wouldn’t send out any rumors about looking for a driver…

  14. playstation361
    27th January 2022, 15:58

    Two people fighting looks really good but has to be with a valid reason though.

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