Button makes Hamilton ‘even better now’ claim amid F1 2024 prediction

Jenson Button believes Lewis Hamilton is “even better now than he was five or six years ago” and is “hungry” to get back to winning ways in F1. 
Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 in qualifying parc ferme. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 19, United States Grand
Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 in qualifying parc ferme. Formula 1…

The seven-time world champion has endured a two-season winless streak for the first time in his F1 career, with his last victory coming at the 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. 

Mercedes have won just one race since the start of F1’s new era of regulations that have heralded an era of Red Bull domination, with Max Verstappen sweeping up the last two world championships at a canter. 

Button still thinks Hamilton, now 39, is at the peak of his powers. 

"When you've won for so many years and then suddenly that's taken away from you, it can work in two different ways,” the 2009 world champion told Sky. 

"One, you are just like 'well, there's no point anymore, I want to retire, I've been at the peak for so long and now I've not won a race in two years'. But also it can make you more hungry to get back to that, and Lewis is in that position right now I think.

"Lewis is as good as ever I would say in terms of his outright speed, but also now he seems much more comfortable in himself and confident in his ability, so he makes fewer mistakes. So he's even better now than he was five or six years ago.

"That's tough [for his rivals]. If he gets a car that's competitive enough to fight for victories, when someone's that strong and that confident in themselves it's difficult to beat, as you can see with Max Verstappen right now.”

Asked which team he thinks is the most likely to take the fight to Red Bull in 2024, Button replied: “Mercedes. 

"When you look at the last 10 years in the sport, it's Mercedes and Red Bull, so it would be Mercedes.

"I would love to say Ferrari, I would love to have them in the mix. You could say they were the closest competitor especially towards the end of the season, but I think Mercedes will have a good improvement [for 2024]. Whether it's enough, I don't know.”

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