Lewis Hamilton has urged former team McLaren to retain Jenson Button for the 2015 Formula 1 season as speculation suggesting that Fernando Alonso will be his replacement continues to grow.
Alonso is set to exit Ferrari after five seasons at the end of the year, making way for four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel who has already confirmed that he will leave Red Bull.
McLaren is thought to be Alonso’s favored destination for 2015, meaning that either Jenson Button or Kevin Magnussen would have to make way for the Spaniard who spent one year at Woking in 2007.
Magnussen appears to be leading the race to remain at the team, having only made his debut at the beginning of 2014. After 15 years in F1, Button could be taking part in his penultimate grand prix in Brazil this weekend.
Championship leader Hamilton worked alongside Button at McLaren between 2010 and 2012, and feels that he is an asset worth keeping.
“If I had a team, I would want him in it because he’s a great asset,” Hamilton said. “It’s not that the team need a better driver, there are not many out there. They just need a better car.
“Button is a great driver, still one of the strongest, and he’s had an amazing career. He’s also a decent guy, so it doesn’t correlate.”
However, Button said yesterday that even if McLaren offered him a new deal for 2015, he was not 100% sure that he would accept it.
“I don’t know,” Button said. “It’s been going on for three months now, hasn’t it? Initially it was like ‘okay, what’s that all about’.
“It makes you think about other opportunities, other challenges in Formula 1, in other motorsports, other sports. There’s so much out there and so many challenges I’m interested in taking on.”