Jenson Button makes bold title statement ahead of Lewis Hamilton vs Max Verstappen finale

Jenson Button has backed his former McLaren team-mate Lewis Hamilton to win the title this weekend ahead of a thrilling season finale fight with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen on Sunday. In another remarkable twist this season, the two championship protagonists enter the final race of the season tied on points for the first time in 47 years ahead of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

After back-to-back victories in Brazil and Qatar, Hamilton stormed to victory at the chaotic Saudi Arabian Grand Prix to eliminate Verstappen’s eight-point lead, with one deciding race to wrap up both the Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championships.

When asked by Express Sport who he believed had the upper hand, Button initially joked he thought the race may be quite dull, before changing his mind and responding: “No, I think it won’t be boring because every corner, every lap in practice, everything is going to be watched and dissected by everyone, whether you have experience with Formula One or not.

“It’s the first time I feel that I can say who I think is going to win the championship, and I do think Lewis has the upper hand.

Christian Horner bemoans Max Verstappen ‘deficit’ 

“I think it would for everyone, for the drivers as well,” added Button. “With Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost, when Senna put Prost into the gravel at Turn 1, you could see it on his face as well, he knew he would win the championship, but he hadn’t done it the right way, and he knew that.

“These guys don’t want to have that issue, if it did happen yes it would take away from the championship and both drivers know that. They don’t want to do that.”

Qualifying for the highly-anticipated title decider gets underway on Saturday at 1pm GMT, with the race the following day at the same time.