Jenson Button believes that Lewis Hamilton will win again in Formula 1, though has questioned whether his former teammate has already decided his time in the sport is up.
Button spent three seasons as Hamilton's partner at the Woking team, from 2010 to 2012, winning eight races to the seven-time World Champion's 10 during that period.
But now Hamilton finds himself with a car incapable of leading the field, by Mercedes' own admission, and 34 points behind his teammate, George Russell.
“I think the big shift for Lewis is he's [now] driving a car that isn't competitive in his world," Button said, speaking to Virgin Radio, as quoted by Eurosport.
“He's been fighting for the World Championship since 2014 and his teammate has come, young upstart George Russell, and he's been competitive.
"Because George is driving a car that's actually better than he was used to [at Williams], it's given him confidence and he can push a bit harder.
“Lewis has probably not got so much confidence in the car to be able to extract the maximum out of it. And when you've had a few bad races, it hurts mentally. This is a mental sport, it's not just physical."
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Button: Maybe he thinks his career is over
Button is confident that Hamilton will win races again in Formula 1 after the Mercedes driver set his team a deadline to be back at the front in time for July's British Grand Prix.
Hamilton will be hoping that his W13 is more competitive for races in Azerbaijan and Canada. The car appeared to improve for the Spanish Grand Prix before taking a step back in Monaco.
However, Button is yet to be convinced that Hamilton does not have his focus set on other projects outside of F1, that could see him soon departing the sport.
“Lewis, as we all know, is one of the best in the world, if not the best in the world at driving a Formula 1 car," he continued. "He will be competitive again – if he wants to be.
"That's the thing. Maybe he thinks his career is over and he wants to go and do something else. Who knows? But Lewis, if he has a car that's good enough to win, he will win races."
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