Hamilton: McLaren should keep Jenson Button

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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.”

Steve Torrence takes NHRA points lead with Gatornationals victory

NHRA Gainesville Steve Torrence
Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Two-time defending NHRA Top Fuel champion Steve Torrence took the points lead Sunday in the AMALIE Motor Oil Gatornationals, beating his father, Billy, in the final round at Gainesville Raceway.

Torrence had a 3.809-second run at 322.11 mph to win for the third time this year and 39th overall. He is now on track for another championship despite missing the season opener.

“We’ve got some good momentum and to be in the points lead, it’s a testament to how hard these guys work,” Steve Torrence said after the NHRA Gainesville victory. “We’ve just got to stay focused and concentrate on what the task at hand is, and that’s trying to win a championship. These guys give me an unbelievable race car and you just try not to screw it up.”

Ron Capps won in Funny Car, Alex Laughlin in Pro Stock and Matt Smith in Pro Stock Motorcycle.

Capps raced to his second win this year and 66th overall, beating Tim Wilkerson with a 3.937 at 323.12 in a Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat.

Laughlin topped Aaron Stanfield with a 7.068 at 204.76 in a Chevrolet Camaro for his first win this season and fourth in his career. Smith rode to his first victory in 2020 and 25th overall, topping Andrew Hines with a 6.843 at 196.99 on an EBR.