Former F1 World Champion Jenson Button believes speculation linking Lewis Hamilton to Ferrari will only strengthen his negotiation stance with Mercedes.
Contract talks to extend his stay with the German manufacturer have been ongoing since the winter period but reports in Italy emerged ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix weekend suggesting Ferrari would table a major effort to pry Hamilton away.
The rumours were quickly shut down by Hamilton, who insisted there had been no contact with the Scuderia, but former McLaren teammate Button suggested his position in talks with Mercedes has been "massively" benefited.
"If a driver has more than one option, it is always better for them," Button told Sky Sports F1.
"Mercedes know what he is worth, so they will pay him what he is worth. He is still unbelievably quick - if he had a car that was competitive enough, he would be fighting for the World Championship."
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Ahead of his home race weekend, Charles Leclerc was asked what he would look for in a teammate should Carlos Sainz be replaced.
The Monéqasque replied that he would like a "fast" teammate, though Button has questioned the terminology.
"I love that question to Charles: 'What do you like in a teammate?' A fast teammate? I am not sure those are the words I would use," explained the 2009 F1 Champion.
"I would want a teammate that is good at setting up a car, fun and loves doing the simulator work because I hated it."