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Button entertained Ferrari offer for 2012

Jenson Button was in talks to join Fernando Alonso at Ferrari prior to re-signing with McLaren for 2012 and beyond.

When Jenson Button revealed recently that he would relish the chance to partner Fernando Alonso should Lewis Hamilton no longer be his team-mate, few realised just how close the Anglo-Spanish partnership came to happening this season.

Speaking to the Press Association last week, Button said that, while he was enjoying the challenge of competing alongside fellow F1 champion Hamilton at McLaren, he was welcome the opportunity to go head-to-head with someone like Alonso if the chance were to arise. What the Briton, who shares this year's two races wins with the Ferrari driver, didn't say is that he had already been given the opportunity to do just that.

According to Brazilian news agency Agencia Estado, which would have a natural affiliation to Alonso's current team-mate Felipe Massa, Button received interest from the Scuderia during his run to second place in the 2011 world championship, and even held talks with the Maranello concern in October, shortly before confirming that he had re-signed with McLaren at the Japanese Grand Prix.

"I had a listen to what some of the other teams could offer me," Button is alleged to have told the report, "I was happy to know that my work was respected."

While Ferrari is understood to have considered several alternatives to the struggling Massa for 2012, including Red Bull's Mark Webber as well as Button, the Brazilian's contract was ultimately honoured in the hope that he could turn around the dip in fortune that has haunted him since his near-fatal accident at the Hungaroring in 2009. So far, however, that loyalty does not appear to have been justified, with Massa struggling for form in both Australia and Malaysia.

Speculation about his future was already rife before Sauber's Sergio Perez, a Ferrari Academy prospect, claimed second to Alonso at Sepang, and the Mexican is now being tipped to take over the second F2012 from as early as Monaco, provided he can prove his pace during the scheduled in-season test at Mugello in May.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
24.03.2012- Qualifying, Felipe Massa (BRA) Scuderia Ferrari F2012
25.03.2012- Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-27
23.03.2012- Free Practice 1, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-27
22.03.2012- Press conference, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-27 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F2012
03.09.2015 - Autograph session, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF15-T
03.09.2015 - Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-30.
03.09.2015 - James Allison (GBR) Ferrari Chassis Technical Director
03.09.2015 - Maurizio Arrivabene (ITA) Ferrari Team Principal
03.09.2015 - Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-30.
03.09.2015 - Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-30
03.09.2015 - (L-R) Jessica Michibata (GBR), wife of Jenson Button (GBR)
03.09.2015 - Autograph session, Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams F1 Team FW37 and Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams F1 Team FW37
03.09.2015 - (L-R) Ivan Capelli (ITA) ACI Milano, President and Modesto Menabue, Scuderia Ferrari, Engine Specialist
03.09.2015 - Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF15-T
03.09.2015 - Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF15-T
03.09.2015 - Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF15-T
03.09.2015 - Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF15-T with fans
03.09.2015 - Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF15-T

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April 03, 2012 12:59 PM

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