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Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen need to QUIT F1 to be considered best in the world claims former team-mate

, Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen need to QUIT F1 to be considered best in the world claims former team-mate

LEWIS HAMILTON and Max Verstappen need to leave Formula 1 and branch out if they are to be considered the best drivers in the world, according to Jenson Button.

Hamilton, 38, holds the record of seven F1 world titles alongside Michael Schumacher.

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen are both yet to race outside of F1

, Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen need to QUIT F1 to be considered best in the world claims former team-mateJenson Button is competing in Le Mans for the first time this year

Verstappen, 25, has won the last two drivers’ championships and is on course to make it three in a row after five wins from the opening seven races of the 2023 season.

But 2009 F1 world champion Button, 43, who was Hamilton’s team-mate at McLaren from 2010 to 2012, has now given a surprising take.

Button is competing in the 24 Hours of Le Mans for the first time this weekend.

And he has highlighted that the likes of Fernando Alonso, 41, – who has won Le Mans and the Daytona Classic as well as two F1 world titles – can boast victories that Hamilton and Verstappen are yet to achieve outside of motorsport’s flagship discipline.

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Speaking to The Times, he said: “There’s every possibility that Max [Verstappen] could go down as the greatest but I like the idea that you can’t be the best driver in the world if you haven’t stepped outside of F1.

“Fernando has done a phenomenal job. He left F1 and came and raced in Le Mans and Daytona, won both, then won Le Mans again.

“I don’t think his performance has dropped away in his forties.”

Hamilton, who has not won an F1 race for 18 months, has claimed he will not retire from the sport until he clinches a record-breaking eighth title.

But Verstappen looks more dominant than ever with his Red Bull team.

Last weekend in Barcelona, he finished 24 seconds ahead of second-place Hamilton.

Yet despite playing catch-up to his Dutch rival, Button insists he believes the legendary Brit is in a positive head-space.

He added: “I think he’s in a good place, which is great.

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“The difficult years make you as a driver, and he’s not had so many of them.

“But he’s still performing unbelievably well, and he seems a more complete human being than he probably was back then.”

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