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Lewis Hamilton hopes Jenson Button returns to F1 for Monaco GP

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Lewis Hamilton wants to see 2009 Formula 1 world champion Jenson Button return to the sport with McLaren next month in place of the Indianapolis 500-bound Fernando Alonso for the Monaco Grand Prix.

Alonso announced on Wednesday that he would miss F1’s crown jewel race in Monaco on May 28 so he could enter the Indy 500 with a McLaren-Honda-Andretti entry.

The news led to speculation about who would take his McLaren-Honda seat for Monaco, with Button the obvious option given his role as the team’s reserve driver.

Button raced for McLaren between 2010 and 2016, making his final appearance in Abu Dhabi last year before stepping back into a reserve role, with the Briton thought to have made his last grand prix start.

Speaking on Thursday in Bahrain, Hamilton said he hopes Button – who he raced alongside for three years at McLaren – would return for Monaco.

“I hope Jenson comes back. I think it would be good for the sport to have Jenson in it,” Hamilton said.

“I like Jenson and I think he’s still one of the best drivers. His caliber and experience is still higher than any other driver that is able to take that spot.”

McLaren said following Wednesday’s announcement that it would decide on Alonso’s replacement for Monaco in due course, with confirmation due before the end of the month.

Button is yet to speak out on the matter officially, only posting a cheeky tweet on Wednesday evening.

F1 2017 driver review: Lance Stroll

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Team: Williams

Car No.: 18
Races: 20
Wins: 0
Podiums: 1
Best Finish: P3 (Azerbaijan)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Points: 40
Championship Position: 13th

Lance Stroll’s arrival in Formula 1 at the start of the 2017 was a far from smooth one despite a significant private testing program being undertaken in the months leading up to his grand prix debut.

Even with older hand Felipe Massa at Williams, Stroll looked uneasy behind the wheel of the FW40 car through the opening run of races as he failed to reach the checkered flag in any of his first three starts.

The Canadian was left deflated after his first decent effort in Bahrain was cut short after a clash with Carlos Sainz Jr., calling it his “rock bottom” moment – but things would turn around on home soil.

Stroll produced a stunning fight through the field to take an excellent P9 in Canada, proving his talent seen in Formula 3 the previous year and shushing many of his critics.

Better would follow two weeks later in Baku when Stroll became the youngest rookie in F1 history to score a podium, dodging a crazy race to finish third. It would have been second had he not lost a drag race against Valtteri Bottas to the line.

Stroll’s form then fluctuated greatly. He was sublime on occasion, the best examples being Monza, when he started a remarkable P2 on the grid and ended as the top midfielder in P7, or Mexico where he took a brilliant sixth.

But there were too many weekends he was a little anonymous. Sure, Williams didn’t have the best car this year, but perhaps a little better was expected from Stroll.

2018 will be an even bigger challenge as he looks to the lead the team when a new teammate arrives – and at only 19, it is a lot to handle. Nevertheless, there are positive signs to be found; you just need to look for them a little.

Season High: Taking a shock podium in Baku after dodging chaos in front.

Season Low: A poor opening two races in Australia and China.