30 May 2011
Button hints at longing for Ferrari
Jenson Button reveals that, as a child, he longed to drive for Williams, McLaren..... and Ferrari.
Despite recently confirming that he would be happy to see out his time in F1 by remaining with the McLaren team, Jenson Button has admitted that there is another that he always dreamed of racing for - Ferrari.
The Briton caused a few eyebrows to be raised when he moved to Woking ahead of the 2010 season, not least because he was leaving the world champion Brawn GP operation just as it was being taken over by Mercedes, but also because McLaren was believed to be centred around Lewis Hamilton. Button, however, rose to the challenge, winning two races before Hamilton got into his stride last season and remaining a title contender until the last couple of rounds. As a result, he declared that he would have no problem finishing his career with McLaren, but now reveals he would not necessarily reject an offer from Ferrari.
"As a kid, you are very excited about racing for the red team," he told Britain's Guardian newspaper during the Monaco GP weekend, "There were three teams I always wanted to race for when I was growing up - Ferrari, McLaren and Williams. I've got to drive for two of them which, as an eight-year old kid, I didn't expect to do. Ferrari is obviously a team I haven't raced for."
Adding that he still has ambitions of winning a second world championship, Button admitted that, despite his pro-McLaren comments last month, he wasn't planning long-term.
"I don't even know what I'm doing tomorrow," he laughed. "I don't plan too far ahead."
Given his willingness to partner Hamilton at McLaren, it is no surprise that Button says that teaming up with Fernando Alonso - who recently inked a five-year extension to his contract - at Ferrari.
"It's not team-mates I'm afraid of, at all," he insisted, "I love the challenge of team-mates. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses and it's interesting to work them out. But I really don't know what will happen in the future."
Having not yet extended his own deal with McLaren, there is unlikely to be any tug-of-love between two of F1's superpowers as there was when BAR and Williams ended consecutive seasons not sure of what the then immature Button - and the Contracts Recognition Board - would decide. Ferrari, however, is understood to be considering various replacements for the lacklustre Felipe Massa. The Brazilian, who crashed out of Sunday's Monaco race, has shrugged off rumours of his exit from Maranello, claiming that the same story resurfaces every season with different names in the frame to replace him, but Button could be considered a legitimate option, alongside the likes of Mark Webber and even Hamilton, who was last week praised by team boss Stefano Domenicali.
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