Formula 1 News

Button ready to stay with McLaren

The 31-year-old Briton, champion in 2009, admits he would love to stay with the team until he retires.
Saturday, April 30, 2011

LONDON, April 29, 2011 (AFP) - Jenson Button is poised to commit the rest of his Formula One racing career to the rapidly-improving McLaren team.

The 31-year-old Briton, champion in 2009, will be hunting his first win of the season at next weekend's Turkish Grand Prix - and admits he would love to stay with McLaren until he retires.

Button said: "I'm very happy here -- I want to enjoy my racing and I'm really enjoying my time here.
"I can't see any reason to be anywhere else. I'm driving for one of the best teams in the world.

"It's a position that most drivers would love to be in and I've worked very hard for it. I might be around for three years, five years...I don't know." 

Button is expected to open talks to extend his contract during the next few weeks as the F1 circus resumes racing with the first European race of the season in Istanbul next Sunday.

McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh said: "If Jenson says he is totally committed and wants to do x more years, then I suspect that we could quickly come to an agreement.

"He's a tremendous asset to the team and when we get around to that, I hope that it will be a quick and easy conversation."

Whitmarsh added that he hoped the team could follow their first win of the year in China two weeks ago with another triumphant display in Istanbul. He said: "Winning in China was a fantastic reward for all the hard effort that's been undertaken both at the race track and at the McLaren Technology Centre to turn MP4-26 into a race winner.

"We're excited and encouraged by the pace and consistency that both drivers have shown in the opening three flyaway races, but the return to Europe brings fresh challenges.

"We're under no illusions that we need to improve our qualifying and race pace if we are to remain a threat at the front.

"Additionally, many teams will be readying significant upgrade packages for the Turkish Grand Prix - so nobody can afford to sit still. For this race, we'll be evaluating a number of small modifications, which include some aerodynamic refinements to the bodywork, during Friday practice.

"Our pace of development is what can win us this championship -- and we go into Turkey determined to ensure our upgrades deliver practical gains and are able to confer a useful margin to both drivers.

"Our one-two finish in Turkey last year was one of our most exciting races - and the memory of that result will doubtless spur on the whole team next weekend."
 

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Teams
1 Lewis Hamilton 384
2 Nico Rosberg 317
3 Daniel Ricciardo 238
4 Valtteri Bottas 186
5 Sebastian Vettel 167
6 Fernando Alonso 159
1 Mercedes 701
2 Red Bull Racing 405
3 Williams F1 320
4 Ferrari 214
5 McLaren 187
6 Sahara Force India 152

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Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
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1
Lewis Hamilton
Mercedes
2
Felipe Massa
Williams F1
3
Valtteri Bottas
Williams F1
Fastest Lap

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1'44.496s

Pole Position

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