Jenson Button has said that he is 'thrilled' by the news that he could be racing a car with Honda power from the 2015 F1 season.
Although his 2009 world championship came in a car designed by the Honda F1 team, it was powered by a Mercedes engine following the Japanese marque's decision to abruptly abandon its grand prix programme at the end of 2008. Prior to that, however, Button enjoyed several notable landmarks with the brand, which has confirmed that it will be McLaren's new engine partner from 2015.
“I first raced an F1 car powered by a Honda engine in 2003, and I was a works Honda F1 driver between 2006 and '08, winning my first grand prix in Hungary in 2006 in a Honda F1 car, so I know exactly how passionate Honda is about motorsport - and F1 in particular,” the Briton noted.
“Equally, I grew up watching McLaren-Honda F1 cars racing - and winning - around the world. They wrote their own glorious chapter of F1 history and, even now, picturing those unmistakable red-and-white cars evokes vivid memories of some of the most dramatic and exciting motor racing the world has ever seen.”
Although he is struggling to get the current McLaren among the point-scorers, and knows that he has one more year of driving Mercedes-powered cars before the Honda deal takes effect, Button is excited by the prospect of the Japanese giant bringing its experience and innovation to bear.
“McLaren-Honda: I know how much passion, success and pride are encapsulated within just those two words,” he claimed, “And that's why I'm so thrilled and excited about what's not only a fantastic opportunity for the team, but also a great development for F1 fans and the sport as a whole.
“The challenge set by F1's new technical regulations provides Honda with the perfect opportunity to return to the pinnacle of motorsport. Honda is one of the most experienced and accomplished builders of turbocharged engines anywhere in the world. It has always treated F1 as a platform for world-beating technical innovation, and will surely relish the opportunity once again to showcase on a global sporting stage its engine technicians' unparalleled engineering prowess.”