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.