Button can win again in F1, believes Mansell

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Nigel Mansell has backed McLaren and Jenson Button to get back to winning form - before Button ultimately decides to retire from Formula One.

"I think this winter Honda can make a breakthrough and McLaren will be working so, so hard. They are a fantastic team," the 1992 Formula One world champion told BBC Sport while publicising his new autobiography, Staying on Track.

"They've won so much in the past and, to use Ron Dennis's words, they will win again in the future. I have no doubt about that.

"Jenson deserves an opportunity to see if they can compete and win next year," Mansell added.

Although Mansell said that Button and his team mate Fernando Alonso were justified in criticising the team's dismal performance to far in 2015, he advised them to stick with it.

"They could have the best team and best engine and they'll have some really serious regrets if Honda get it right after they've gone somewhere else.

"Hopefully within 12 months they'll be singing the praises of the team and Honda. I sincerely hope they'll be winning races in a year's time."

If Mansell is right then Jenson Button could be in with a shot of adding to his current tally of 15 wins and 50 podium positions. Having announced that he's staying in Formula One for at least another year, Button is now on course to tally up his 300th Grand Prix start in 2016.

Mansell said the news that Button was definitely staying at McLaren for a seventh consecutive season was "brilliant for Honda, brilliant for McLaren and brilliant for Jenson."

Meanwhile Mansell was full of praise for another British driver, Lewis Hamilton, and also for Sebastian Vettel since the German's move away from Red Bull.

"Lewis is in a league of his own," admitted Mansell. "Lewis is having a wonderful time, exploring life and having fun. For me, having fun makes you a better person. It makes you want to go to work and put it out there even more. When Lewis is on it, he is on it.

"Vettel is doing an absolutely wonderful job with Ferrari. They are pushing hard but are not quite on the same level as Mercedes. In isolation in 2015, Lewis is out there on his own. At times Seb is right there with him."

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