Verstappen ‘keeping Hamilton interested’ in F1, says Button

Jenson Button believes the fierce and exciting title fight between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton is keeping the seven-time world champion “interested” in Formula 1.

Mercedes and Hamilton have conceded six defeats in nine races to arch-rival Red Bull, with Verstappen delivering five wins to his team and teammate Sergio Perez one win.

But the Dutchman enjoyed a clean sweep in F1’s first triple-header of 2021, allowing the Red Bull charger to lead the Drivers’ standings from Hamilton by 32 points.

However, despite Hamilton’s current points deficit, Button reckons that his former McLaren teammate, who has gone unrivaled in the championship since 2017, is having the time of his life battling his Red Bull nemesis.

“I think Lewis is enjoying it, he’s enjoying the fight with someone,” Button told Sky Sports. “He knows how talented Max is and how good Red Bull are.

“It’s an exciting fight for him and that’s what’s keeping him interested in F1 and why he’s probably gotten this new contract for the next two years.”

Button also suggests that Mercedes could turn the table on Red Bull at Silverstone, a historically productive hunting ground for the German outfit which has won seven of the last nine rounds at the Northamptonshire track.

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“Most of the years we get three of four races into the season and we think ‘it’s going to be a Mercedes championship it’s probably going to be Lewis Hamilton,” said Button.

“This year he has a challenge on his hands. I know that he is behind in the championship at the moment to Max, but he will be fighting later in the year I have a feeling.

“Silverstone is a circuit where their car works really well so it should be a really close fight with the Red Bull of Max Verstappen.”

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