Jenson Button has advised Lewis Hamilton to stick with McLaren in the long term rather than risk "a surprise" by moving elsewhere.
With McLaren's 2011 car not expected to challenge for victory in Australia this weekend, it has been rumoured that Briton Hamilton might look to switch to Red Bull at the expiry of his contract late next year.
But countryman Button, Hamilton's current teammate and five years his senior, told British reporters: "Lewis is going to be racing in Formula One for a lot longer than I am.´
"It's his decision but I think he feels very much at home within this team and it might be a surprise going somewhere else.
Lewis is going to be racing in Formula One for a lot longer than I am
"It would be a very different environment for him, but I don't think he's thinking like that (about leaving McLaren)," added Button, who won the title in 2009, when Hamilton was the reigning champion.
Button, 31, said he is also looking at a future with Woking-based McLaren.
"I feel very at home here but I haven't thought about that far into the future," he insisted.
"I'm racing with one of the best teams in the world. This has to be the best place to be to fight for a world championship.
"I haven't doubted that. We all go through difficult times and this winter hasn't been perfect for us. But when times are tough people always say it makes you stronger," said Button.