Lewis Hamilton hasn’t got ‘options he would want’ to leave Mercedes

Thomas Maher
Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes garage. Miami May 2023.

Lewis Hamilton is on the verge of a move to Ferrari.

Jenson Button doesn’t see Lewis Hamilton racing anywhere but Mercedes next year, and it’ll be due to a lack of options for the seven-time World Champion.

Hamilton is currently without a contract for the 2024 F1 season, with his deal at Mercedes coming to an end at the conclusion of the ’23 championship.

While both Hamilton and Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff have indicated a willingness to extend their partnership, which would take Hamilton into an astonishing 12th consecutive year at Brackley, rumours have also swirled that Hamilton may be looking to swap teams or even walk away from F1 as a result of Mercedes’ fall in competitiveness.

Jenson Button, who was teammates with Hamilton at McLaren between 2010 and ’12, doubts Hamilton will have many competitive options for next year, meaning that he’ll likely end up signing with Mercedes once again.

Jenson Button: Lewis Hamilton hasn’t got the options he’d want

“Well, he’s loyal, but I also don’t think he’s got the options that he would want,” Button told Sky F1 during the Miami Grand Prix weekend, before detailing how he believes each of the top teams’ existing driver line-ups mean no way in for Hamilton.

“I don’t really think he would have the option at Red Bull – I don’t think he would be the right fit alongside Max [Verstappen]. 

“I don’t think he’d be at Ferrari. Aston Martin? Definitely won’t be going to Aston Martin, they’ve got two seats that are going to be filled there for a little while.”

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The 2009 F1 World Champion also suggested that the current barren patch of results for the once-dominant Hamilton/Mercedes partnership could actually strengthen the bond between driver and team.

“I think his future will be at Mercedes but he is also a loyal character and it’s good to see him going through some tough times with that team,” he said.

“I think they will come out the other side together. You know, it’s a rollercoaster in Formula 1, especially when you’ve been on top for that long, there’s going to be a dip. 

“But if you can stay with that team, they will rise to the top again, and he’s not going to retire.”

What has Lewis Hamilton said about his F1 future?

Hamilton recently revealed he has no intentions of retiring from F1 any time soon, explaining that he feels he is only in the prime of his career now as a 38-year-old.

“I don’t plan on stopping any time soon,” he told ESPN. “I’m not at the end of my career, I’m not in the downhill slope of my career. I’m in my prime.

“It all depends on how hard I want to work and keep myself in my prime, in terms of physical and mental capability.

“Right now, I don’t plan on changing, I only plan on adding to the drive and the motivation and to being better. I’m massively driven.”

Hamilton also admitted that he has wondered what it would be like to drive for other teams, but that he doesn’t see himself driving for anyone other than Mercedes.

“I’d be lying if I said I’d never thought about ending my career anywhere else,” he said.

“I started at McLaren, I’d like to think I’ll always be a part of the McLaren family, I started there when I was 13 years old [as a junior driver], so I thought about what it would look like if I was at McLaren one day.

“I thought about and watched the Ferrari drivers on the screens at the track and of course, you wonder what it would be like to be in red… But then I go to my team, to Mercedes, and this is my home.

“I’m happy where I am. I haven’t signed a contract yet, but we are working on one.”