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- Updated: October 19, 2017
Lewis Hamilton may be one of the top drivers in the current Formula One set-up but is still some way off the legendary heights set up by Michael Schumacher. However, former teammate Jenson Button believes that the Mercedes ace can equal the German.
While Hamilton shot into prominence after lifting his first world title in 2008, he had to wait a further six years to win his second crown.
Now aged 32, the three-time world champion will take his tally to four if he can win the US Grand Prix this weekend and rival Sebastian Vettel finishes outside the top three.
Even then, Hamilton will be a long way behind the seven-time world champion Schumacher. For Button, that may not be a task too difficult for Hamilton.
“When you look at the facts and the stats, he’s out-qualified Michael but in terms of world championships he’s got a little way to go,” Button told the BBC.
“We can honestly say he’s got a very good chance of winning this year and I hope he does because last year was a very tough year for him in terms of being very unlucky.
“Michael is still the greatest when you look at the outright results but if Lewis stays in the sport and if Mercedes stay as competitive, you could see him getting close to winning seven world championships but only time will tell.”
Button was Hamilton’s teammate for three years, and while things were good for the duo at times, things were not always smooth and they did share a tense relationship at the end.
Both desperate to win, Button confessed that their rivalry almost boiled over at a number of points.
“Midway through that first season, I was ahead of Lewis in the points,” Button reveals in his new autobiography, Life To The Limit.
“Did he like being beaten by his teammate? Probably not, but he’s a competitor and I’m sure that like me he relished the challenge. That’s why we do what we do.
“Personally, he was fine with me, but you could just tell he was a little bit peeved.
“I don’t think that I was to his taste, if I’m honest. And things took a bit of a turn for the worse in Turkey, when we almost had a collision that led to a minor falling-out between us.”