Indeed, Button's new deal will raise speculation that it will be Hamilton who quits McLaren
first, the younger Briton having hinted that he could become impatient if the team does not produce a car to take on Red Bull
Racing, and challenge for the title, at the front of the field. Button, meanwhile, remains optimistic that the Woking squad will be able to recapture former glories - its last title came courtesy of Hamilton in 2008 - and repay his faith in re-signing instead of opting to throw his lot in with a childhood dream of racing in red.
Ferrari currently trails both RBR and McLaren
in the constructors' championship and Fernando Alonso, to whom Button would ostensibly have been a clear 'number two', has won just one race in 2011. While Button has only twice stood on top of the podium, Hamilton's own brace of victories have shown McLaren
to be a better bet than its Italian rival this season, and the older Briton admits that nostalgia has a lot to do with the apparent lure of Ferrari.
"It's not a regret now, is it?" he said in response to questions suggesting that he may now have missed the boat to Maranello, "I don't regret anything at the moment. I think every driver is excited about Ferrari
because they remember the past and what Ferrari
have achieved in the past, but they are not the only team. I think a lot of drivers would like to be in a Ferrari
if it was the right circumstances and the right situation, but they are not very often.
“I think this is a great opportunity over the next couple of years to really work closely with McLaren. We are so close to fighting with Red Bull, [and] I think it is good to have the continuity going forward for the next couple of years. It is going to help us take the fight to [RBR] next season."