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Button thinks Lewis will stay

2012-09-07 09:49

MONZA, Italy - Jenson Button expects to be sharing a garage with Lewis Hamilton again next season in 2013, even if his McLaren team mate did little on Thursday to dampen speculation about a move to Mercedes.

Hamilton's Formula One future has been a regular feature of paddock gossip this season but became a major talking point at the Italian Grand Prix after former team boss Eddie Jordan claimed a deal with Mercedes was imminent.

NO DEFINITE ANSWERS

Hamilton, whose management have said they are still in advanced negotiations with McLaren about renewing a contract that expires at the end of 2012, swerved questions but did not dismiss anything either.

When asked whether he knew where he would be driving next year, he replied with a stern “no”.

Questioned about the positives of a move to Mercedes, Hamilton responded: "I have no idea. I've not really thought about it."

McLaren is the second most successful team in F1 history and has won the last two races. Mercedes has won once - China, in April - since taking over the title-winning Brawn team at the end of 2009.

Hamilton didn't think he was "really looking for anything to be put into perspective" and was focused on the weekend ahead. The F1 driver says his decision won’t be money related, because all he wants is to win.

"I always want to win. Every year you compete," he said, "that's why drivers exist and that's why the teams exist. It's just making sure you're in the right place to do so."

NEW CHALLENGE WANTED

Speaking to reporters afterwards in the team motorhome, Button was confident Hamilton would stay with a team that has backed and supported the Briton since he was a teenager some 15 years ago. "We all read newspapers, magazines and the internet, and you hear things, and I was surprised to see what I read yesterday," said the 2009 world champion. "I haven't a clue if there's any truth in it but I think I'll have the same team mate next year."

Button moved from Brawn, now Mercedes, to McLaren because he wanted a new challenge and being in the same team as the 2008 champion was certainly as big as any. He had no doubt that staying would be the best choice for Hamilton.

"For all of us it can be that if you are in the same place for too long it can get a bit stale, but not here, This is a great team, one that is always giving us the opportunity to fight for wins. A driver likes the excitement and adrenalin of new challenges, and that's the reason I came here in the first place. But I don't think anything will change here next year in terms of driver line-up."

Reuters