Lewis Hamilton can rip up the record books and win 10 Formula One titles, former champion Jenson Button has claimed.
Hamilton headed into today's British Grand Prix on course to take his sixth world title, moving to within one of Michael Schumacher’s record haul.
The 34-year-old, who trailed teammate Valtteri Bottas in qualifying at Silverstone on Saturday, has won six of the opening nine rounds this year to establish a commanding 31-point title lead.
Hamilton has 18 months to run on his £40million-a-year Mercedes deal, but raised the possibility of a move to Ferrari in his last contract talks.
But Button, the 2009 world champion, believes his former McLaren teammate should resist the lure of a romantic switch to the Scuderia in what could be the final act of the Brit’s remarkable career.
“Lewis could end up with 10 world championships if he stays at Mercedes, but if he goes to Ferrari it might just be that – the end of his career,” said Button.
“I am sure every driver wants to race for Ferrari, but no driver in their right mind would move from a winning team to a team which is not competitive. It is not like he is not getting paid well. He definitely doesn’t need to worry about that.”
Button became the first teammate to beat Hamilton over the course of a season in 2011. Hamilton left McLaren at the end of the following campaign to join Mercedes.
Since switching to the Silver Arrows, he has won 57 times, taking his tally to a stunning 79 career triumphs. Hamilton has also won four of the last five championships.
“Lewis seems, in terms of his character, a lot more relaxed now,” added Button, back in the F1 paddock as an analyst for Sky Sports.
“He truly believes in himself and believes that the people are there to help him rather than hinder him.
“I don’t think the scale of his achievement is being taken for granted either. I see him as a five-time world champion. Yes, he has been given the equipment to do it, but his skill shines through.News Now - Sport News