Jenson Button feels Naoki Yamamoto is talented enough to race in Formula 1 after winning the Super GT championship with him in 2018.
The Kunimitsu Honda teammates clinched the 2018 GT500 title at Motegi last month, defeating TOM’S Lexus pair Nick Cassidy and Ryo Hirakawa in a tense showdown.
Yamamoto also won this year’s Super Formula title, becoming the first driver in 14 years to be crowned champion in Japan’s two premier series in a single calendar year.
Button, having worked closely with Yamamoto through the year, believes the 30-year-old’s ability to be quick in both single-seaters and GT cars means he is ready to handle the pressure of F1.
“I personally feel this guy should be in F1,” the 2009 F1 champion said. “Whether he wants to or not, that’s my opinion.
“Seeing what he’s achieved in Super Formula, which I think has been a very good proving ground for Formula, if you look at [Pierre] Gasly and also Stoffel [Vandoorne] and many other drivers. But also his diversity in his driving.
"So [he's] champion in Super Formula, champion in Super GT. The wealth of experience from different types of racing all of this helps when you find yourself under pressure at the top.”
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