Hamilton and Alonso hope Button stays in F1

Fri Nov 7, 2014 4:40am EST
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By Alan Baldwin

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Lewis Hamilton says McLaren would be making a mistake to ditch his former team mate Jenson Button at the end of the Formula One season and should focus instead on building a better car.

"He's still got plenty of time in his capability as a driver to keep racing and winning," the Mercedes driver told reporters at the Brazilian Grand Prix.

"He just needs to be given a better car. It's not the team need a better driver. There are not many out there. They need a better car," added the championship leader.

McLaren have not won a race since Button's last victory in Brazil two years ago and are believed to be close to signing Fernando Alonso from Ferrari for 2015, when they start a new partnership with Honda.

The Spaniard's arrival is likely to signal the end of 2009 champion Button's Formula One career, although Alonso was also supportive of the Briton.

"He's a very talented driver, we've seen that throughout his career, and also he's a very nice person," the Ferrari driver told reporters at Interlagos.

"We need people like him in F1. I hope he will be here next year," added the Spaniard, who also replaced Button at Renault in 2003.

Hamilton, who left McLaren for Mercedes at the end of 2012 after three years with Button as a team mate, agreed it would be strange to be left as Britain's sole representative on the starting grid.   Continued...

Mercedes Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain sits in the cockpit of his car at the Interlagos race track in Sao Paulo November 6, 2014.  REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker