Jenson Button believes Mercedes stands the best chance to challenge Red Bull Racing this upcoming season, especially if Lewis Hamilton gets the car he desires. Recent history has shown the former Formula 1 driver that Red Bull and Mercedes often end up in direct competition. With the right resources, Hamilton could pursue his eighth world title, as Button feels the seven-time world champion has improved even further.
Other Formula 1 teams are hopeful to challenge Red Bull in the coming season. Last year, the Milton Keynes-based team was only defeated in Singapore, and Max Verstappen secured nineteen wins. Button thinks currently, only one team can truly compete with Red Bull. “Looking at the past ten years in the sport, it was Mercedes and Red Bull; so it’s going to be Mercedes now,” states the singular world champion in a Sky Sports interview.
“I’d like to say Ferrari, I wish they were in the mix. You could argue they were the closest contenders, particularly towards the season’s end, but I believe Mercedes will make significant improvements,” Button continues. Ferrari and Mercedes battled for second place in the championship; a battle Mercedes won. Next year, the German team aims to close the gap to Red Bull with a new car. “Whether that’s enough, I don’t know.”
Button Observes a Significantly Improved Hamilton
Naturally, Mercedes hopes Hamilton will eventually seize the chance to claim his eighth world title. Button feels his fellow countryman’s mentality is robust. “If you’ve been winning for so many years and suddenly it’s gone, it can affect you in two ways. On one hand, you might think: well, there’s no point, I want to retire, I’ve been at the top so long, and now I’ve not won a race for two years. But it can also make you hungrier to come back, and I think Lewis is in that position right now.”
“He also appears much more comfortable and confident, hence making fewer mistakes,” adds the former Formula 1 driver. Over recent years, Hamilton has urged his team to completely overhaul the car. If he gets the car he wants, it spells bad news for rivals, Button believes. “He’s even better now than five or six years ago. If he gets a car competitive enough to fight for wins, he’s tough to beat, as we’re seeing with Max Verstappen,” concludes the one-time world champion.
Button Backs Mercedes Hamilton Button Backs Mercedes Hamilton
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