Jenson Button has finally admitted he wants to be at McLaren for the team’s new Honda era beginning in 2015.
In May, the 2009 world champion refused to commit to the great British team beyond his existing contract. “You’ve got to live in the moment and I don’t think trying to agree a lengthy deal for the future is something that is interesting at the moment for me,” he said. Since then, although many assumed the 33-year-old will be at McLaren at least beyond 2013, Briton Button revealed boss Martin Whitmarsh is actually yet to take up the option on his current deal.
But he later played down rumours he is angling for the Ferrari seat. “Ferrari is legendary, but so too is McLaren. Why should I change?” he said. But while hinting he will be at McLaren under Mercedes’ V6 power in 2014, Button didn’t say if he will reunite with the team’s new Japanese partner Honda in 2015. He is quoted by Reuters news agency on Thursday: “I want to be here in 2015. “I’ve worked for many years with that Japanese engine manufacturer, it will be exciting to work with them again in the future,” the former works Honda driver added.
Button clarified, however, that he is yet to put pen to paper. “Not yet. But it’s all good. It takes a bit of time,” he is quoted by the Guardian newspaper. Asked if the 2015 talks are holding up a deal for next season, Button answered: “I can’t say right now. In a few weeks I can.” But he did say that, despite the sillier-than-usual ‘silly season’ this year, the top teams will ultimately field similar driver lineups for 2014. “There’s so much change in the sport next season, in terms of the engines and the cars, it’s better for the top three or four teams to stay put for the near future,” said Button.
So he played down rumours Kimi Raikkonen could be his new teammate for 2014. “From what Martin Whitmarsh has said, Kimi is not here next year,” Button is quoted by the Telegraph. The Finn, however, continues to be linked with a return to Ferrari, but a source at the Italian team played down the notion of a Raikkonen-Fernando Alonso pairing next year. “The final decision will be the team’s,” a team source told the Spanish daily AS, “but Fernando will be consulted, as is normal.”
Spaniard Alonso has said he would prefer if Ferrari simply keeps Felipe Massa on board. And that would please Lotus, who are desperate to keep Raikkonen. In a light-hearted ‘tweet’ in the wake of Daniel Ricciardo’s 2014 signing, Lotus posted a photo with three logos. Red Bull’s logo was crossed out, leaving just Lotus’ and Ferrari’s. “One down …” the Lotus tweet said.
Info: GMM, Image: McLaren