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McLaren aiming to tie Button down 'for the rest of his career'

McLaren-Mercedes team principal Martin Whitmarsh outlines his vision for Jenson Button's future with the Woking-based outfit - even beyond the end of his F1 career
Martin Whitmarsh has confessed that the intention at McLaren-Mercedes is to reach an arrangement with Jenson Button that would see the 2009 F1 World Champion conclude his top flight career with the team – and then perhaps go on to 'take on an ambassador's role'.

Contract talks between Button and McLaren have been ongoing for some time, with the British star widely expected to re-sign beyond the end of his current £6 million-a-year agreement with the team, having admitted just over a week ago that 'all Martin has got to do is say 'yes' and I will say 'yes', because I want to be here next year' [see separate story – click here]. The only question, it would seem, regards just how long the new deal is for.

Whilst Whitmarsh is eager to secure Button's services for the long-term, the eleven-time grand prix-winner and his management team would prefer for the Woking-based outfit to simply take up the option that it has on him for 2012, and then look at what happens beyond that stage in due course.

With Mark Webber at Red Bull Racing and Felipe Massa at Ferrari both anticipated to leave their respective teams come the end of next year, two very attractive openings would be created – and it is understood that Button does not want to rule himself out of the equation. Whitmarsh, however, is convinced his driver is going nowhere.

“Jenson will be here next year,” the Englishman is quoted as having said by The Daily Telegraph. “We know that, he knows that. There's nothing complicated about it, but we're looking to do a deal that will see him race for McLaren for the rest of his career. That may be for the next three years or the next five years. Who knows?

“Jenson is a mature and very intelligent guy, and he is still as fit as a flea and still hungry to race. He could take on an ambassador's role for McLaren [post-retirement from driving]. We're looking into GT racing and Le Mans, and there's no reason why he can't use his experience in those projects.”

The Telegraph reports that the key issues with respect to the long-term for Button are how many PR and sponsorship commitments the 31-year-old would be expected to undertake, given that he recently set up the London-based Sports Partnership in tandem with his manager Richard Goddard as he eyes an eventual move into driver management himself.




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
08.09.2011- Jenson Button (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26
28.08.2011- Race, Jenson Button (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26 3rd position
26.08.2011- Friday Practice 1, Jenson Button (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26
31.07.2011 Jenson Button (GBR), McLaren Mercedes, MP4-26 is celebrating the victory
31.07.2011 Jenson Button (GBR), McLaren Mercedes, MP4-26 is celebrating the victory
26.08.2011- Friday Practice 2, Jenson Button (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26
31.07.2011 Jenson Button (GBR), McLaren Mercedes, MP4-26
09.07.2011- Martin Whitmarsh (GBR), Chief Executive Officer Mclaren
27.08.2011- Saturday Practice, Martin Whitmarsh (GBR), Chief Executive Officer Mclaren
Friday Practice1, Jenson Button (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-25 and Martin Whitmarsh (GBR), Chief Executive Officer
Friday Practice1, Jenson Button (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-25 and Martin Whitmarsh (GBR), Chief Executive Officer
Friday Practice1, Jenson Button (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-25 and Martin Whitmarsh (GBR), Chief Executive Officer
Kevin Magnussen (DEN) McLaren MP4-29.
09.07.2014. Formula One Testing, Silverstone, England, Wednesday.
Kevin Magnussen (DEN) McLaren MP4-29.
09.07.2014. Formula One Testing, Silverstone, England, Wednesday.
Kevin Magnussen (DEN) McLaren MP4-29.
09.07.2014. Formula One Testing, Silverstone, England, Wednesday.
Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB10.
09.07.2014. Formula One Testing, Silverstone, England, Wednesday.
Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB10.
09.07.2014. Formula One Testing, Silverstone, England, Wednesday.
Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB10.
09.07.2014. Formula One Testing, Silverstone, England, Wednesday.

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Bill Nuttall - Unregistered

September 09, 2011 5:30 PM

A sensible decision by McLaren, they've got themselves an utterly dependable driver, who whilst may not be the fastest on the grid, is one of the most skilful in many other ways. He also makes the perfect foil for Hamilton, being about as opposite in style as is possible - he's almost like McLaren's safety net that lets them indulge Lewis and his crazy win-at-any-cost style.



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