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Button retirement may be pushed back by McLaren deal

Jenson Button has said that his new McLaren deal may cause him to rethink the end of his F1 career.
Jenson Button has admitted that any plans he may have had to retire from F1 in the next few years may be put on the backburner if his new deal with McLaren leads to continued success at the head of the field.

Only recently, the Briton admitted that his next contract may be the last he signs in F1 - leading to speculation that he may look to end his days in the top flight with Ferrari - but Wednesday's news that he had extended his relationship with McLaren was accompanied by the hint that he could continue racing for some time to come.

"I've been asked is this my last contract and, probably, two years ago, I would have said 'definitely'," the Briton told Reuters on the eve of practice for the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka, "Even last year I probably would have said 'definitely'. But time flies and I think it [retirement] will end up going back and back. So, yes, it might be [my last F1 contract] or it might not be. I don't know. I'm really enjoying where I am at the moment and, hopefully, this feeling will continue. If it does, I might be racing for a lot more years."

The 31-year old's contract extension is 'multi-year' and, despite the ambiguity that that carries, ends speculation that he may be looking to move on, potentially to Maranello following a mid-season admission that Ferrari remained the only team of his youth that he had yet to represent. While team-mate Lewis Hamilton has endured a tumultuous 2011 campaign, Button remains the only driver able to deny Sebastian Vettel a second consecutive title - albeit with the German requiring a single point from five races - and insists that his level of competitiveness was a key to extending his deal to stay at Woking.

"I've never felt more at home at a team than I do at McLaren,” he said when announcing the new deal, "I've won four of the greatest races of my life here, I'm currently lying second in the drivers' world championship, and I feel that I'm driving better than ever.

"You can only achieve that with the right level of support – and I truly believe that the passion and determination to win are stronger here than anywhere else. As a grand prix driver, those are incredibly powerful feelings to share and be part of, and they've only reinforced my desire to commit my long-term future to this team.”

When Button joined McLaren, he was expected to be put firmly in the shade by Hamilton, despite carrying the world title to Woking with him, but has defied the scaremongers by proving to be the equal of his fellow countryman on track, and arguably better than him in dealing with the pressures that surround life as an F1 driver off it.

Clearly more content with his lot having achieved the dream of becoming world champion, which he achieved with Brawn GP in 2009, Button insisted that he expected to get more from his association with McLaren in future as he had more of a say in the design of forthcoming cars.

"I think there's a lot more that I can give in terms of developing the car because, last year, I arrived and the car was [already] built," he explained, "This year, I think we've made a step forward and I feel I'm a lot more at home in this car. Hopefully, I can still help with the development for the future years [because] it's exciting to have a multi-year contract - whatever that means - with a team that has the resources, the manpower, the expertise to fight for a championship over the years."





Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
09.09.2011- Fernando Alonso (ESP), Scuderia Ferrari, F-150 Italia and Jenson Button (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26
31.07.2011 Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren Mercedes, MP4-26 and Jenson Button (GBR), McLaren Mercedes, MP4-26
25.09.2011- Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB7 race winner, Jenson Button (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26, 2nd position and Mark Webber (AUS), Red Bull Racing, RB7 3rd position
25.09.2011- Race, Jenson Button (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26 leads Fernando Alonso (ESP), Scuderia Ferrari, F-150 Italia
23.09.2011- Friday Practice 2, Jenson Button (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26
Lewis Hamilton, James Corden
Alain Prost (FR), Marlboro McLaren International MP4/2. Monaco Grand Prix, 03/06/1984, Monte Carlo.
The Marlboro McLaren Team celebrate as Alain Prost (FR), McLaren MP4/2, takes the chequered flag. Dutch Grand Prix, Zandvoort, Holland, 26/08/1984.
27.07.2014- Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F14-T
27.07.2014- Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari F14-T and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05
27.07.2014- Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB10 leads Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F14-T
27.07.2014- Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F14-T leads Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05
27.07.2014- Race, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-29
27.07.2014- Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05
27.07.2014- Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F14-T leads Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB10 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05
27.07.2014- Race, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-29
27.07.2014- Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05
27.07.2014- Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB10 leads Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F14-T

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Dee - Unregistered

October 07, 2011 10:22 AM

First of all, I admit I'm not a fan of Lewis Hamilton. On saying that, I admit that on his day he is one of the fastest drivers in F1. For Button to be leading Hamilton in the Driver's Championship says a lot about Button's skill and mental approach to racing. Keeping all of this in mind, I for one hope that he will continue at McLaren for years to come. Not only is Button doing very well at the moment, but doing so keeps Hamilton honest and forces him to improve. As a true F1 fan, this is clearly the best result and will hopefully result in both drivers giving the sort of performance that we who are watching will be able to truly enjoy.

Cubikrube

October 07, 2011 11:26 AM

Fish Fingers, DRS has helped but i think you'll find that Button hasn't had a problem overtaking....just look at what he did to get the drivers crown in Brazil and that was pre-DRS. In fact the main reason Jenson has made so many overtakes is down to poor qualifying if we are honest :) There was also Monza where Lewis spent an age trying to get past Michael and yet Jenson breezed past him...ok it is never that simplistic with tyre deg and all that but i just think Jenson deserves all the plaudits he is getting atm. Lot's of people said Lewis would eat him alive and it hasn't happened. And i am a fan of both so it's not a JB vs LH thing i'm trying to stoke up here. Just giving credit where it is due. Hope these two can take it to the Red Bull boys next year



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