Former Formula 1 world champion Jenson Button believes it is ‘only a matter of time’ before Sir Lewis Hamilton gets back to winning ways.
Hamilton has had a poor start to the 2022 season, with his Mercedes W13 car proving difficult to drive and way off the pace of main rivals Ferrari and Red Bull.
After the opening four races, the seven-time world champion is seventh in the standings, 58 points behind leader Charles Leclerc, and after an extremely disappointing Emilia Romagna Grand Prix last time out, Hamilton admitted he had no chance of winning the title this year.
Much has been made of the 37-year-old’s poor form, especially compared to his teammate George Russell, and some have even suggested that the driver could walk away from the sport if results don’t pick up.
But Button, Hamilton’s McLaren teammate from 2010 to 2012, has rubbished that idea.
‘At the moment he’s [Hamilton] finding it tough, and people are saying he’s not doing as good a job as his teammate,’ Button told the New York Post ahead of this weekend’s inaugural Miami Grand Prix.
‘He’s had a couple of bad races; we all have it in our career.
‘He’s not lost it since last season when he was winning races. He’s a seven-time world champion — almost eight — he will keep fighting as long as he wants to.
‘If he wants to be competitive, he will be competitive. He’s so important to that team, he has so much experience, and he knows how to develop a car.’
Button knows all too well the difficulties a driver can face in a poor car, having won just one race during the first nine seasons of his career, thanks to a combination of bad luck and bad machinery.
The Brit’s patience paid off eventually, though, as Button romped to the 2009 title with Brawn, the team that would later become Mercedes who have dominated F1 for the past eight years.
‘It’s unusual for a lot of guys on the team [Mercedes], it’s the first time they haven’t been winning,’ Button added.
‘It’s going to be good for their careers. You need to lose sometimes, it strengthens you as a person, you learn a lot as well.’
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