Jenson Button has admitted that, while news of Honda's return as engine supplier is 'good news' for the beleaguered McLaren team, it is no guarantee that he will enjoy a prolonged stay at Woking.
The Briton built up a strong relationship with the Japanese giant during his stint as a 'works' driver between the team's spells as BAR and Brawn, and welcomed its decision to return to the top flight under F1's new engine rules, even if he faces another year with Mercedes power in 2014.
“I've got a lot of connections to Japan, and Honda is one of them,” Button reflected, “I spent a lot of time working with them in the old days… It seems like a long time ago now, but [there were] a lot of very positive moments and I look forward to that in the future.
“I thought [the announcement] was good news. As a team, it's good news for the future, but I also think for the sport as a whole, it's fantastic news. Having another engine manufacturer in the sport is good and I think, with the new regulations, it's going to bring in other manufacturers.
“Honda being the first to announce that is great and hopefully there will be more. But it's a long way down the road still, so we've got to focus on what we're doing at the moment with Mercedes.”
The news of the Honda deal was accompanied by McLaren MD Jonathan Neale saying that 'Jenson will drive here for as long as he wants to drive here' [ see separate story
], but the 33-year old admitted that, while he was happy with his current lot, he didn't want to be tied down long term.
“I don't know what that means - I don't want to think about the future too much at the moment,” he told journalists in Monaco, “I think that you've got to live for the moment and I don't think that trying to agree a lengthy deal for the future is something that is interesting at the moment for me.
“I'm 13 years in the sport, I want to have freedom and the feeling that, if it doesn't feel right any more, [I can] stop. I definitely don't feel that yet. It feels that it is going to be a long way down the road [but], for me, that freedom is important in the future.”