Jenson Button expects Lewis Hamilton to stay with McLaren in 2013
Jenson Button believes Lewis Hamilton will remain with McLaren, although his team-mate yesterday refused to offer any indication over his future.
Hamilton was given the opportunity to clear the air as to which team he will be driving for from next year onwards.
Speculation surfaced on Wednesday linking Hamilton to Mercedes, albeit denied by his management team, XIX Entertainment.
XIX claim Hamilton and McLaren are in “advanced negotiations”, although are naturally refusing to put all their eggs in one basket so are paying lip-service to potential suitors.
Hamilton, however, was giving nothing away because pointedly asked whether he knew where he would be driving next year, the 27-year-old stoically replied: “No.”
Button believes that place will be McLaren, despite the fact Hamilton has been with the Woking-based marque since he was 13 and there is the possibility he needs a change of scene.
The 32-year-old conceded to “surprise” upon reading the remarks of former team principal Eddie Jordan on Wednesday, who said Hamilton had already agreed personal terms with Mercedes and a deal was imminent.
Despite that Button added: “I haven’t a clue if there’s any truth in it at all, but I think I’ll have the same team-mate next year.”
In giving his reasons why, he added: “That’s because this is the best choice for him.
“For all of us it can get a bit stale if you’re in the same place for too long, but not here.
“This is a great team which is always giving us the opportunity to fight for wins.
“Whether we’ve had the chance to fight for the world title, that is another question.
“But they always give you the possibility of winning grands prix, and that’s what a driver wants. I don’t think anything will change here next year in terms of driver line-up.”