Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, August 23rd, 2013 (F1Plus / Graham Keilloh) - F1’s silly season – the notorious rounds of rumours over who’ll be driving where next year – is notorious. And it’s called "silly" for a good reason: the speculation is often frenzied and wide-ranging, and by late August the rumours usually are in top gear. This year is no exception.
On the Thursday before the Belgian Grand Prix Jenson Button’s whereabouts for next season were drawn into the speculation. Some reckoned that Kimi Raikkonen, following his manager stating in recent days that his discussions about a Red Bull switch were over, would move to McLaren for 2014 with Jenson Button perhaps giving way, possibly by moving to Ferrari.
Button that day though moved to cool such rumours. While he said that his 2014 McLaren drive was not 100% confirmed, and that his 2014 McLaren contract was in the form of an option and that "we haven’t discussed it yet", he confirmed that he is keen to remain with the Woking team.
"I think I have a contract (with McLaren) for next year, but I don’t think it’s got a signature on it yet!" said the Englishman. "I really want to be here (McLaren) next year, you might think 'well, that’s strange' after this season, but I think this season’s good for us in a way. I think this will be a much stronger team next year…but as you say you haven’t heard the confirmation of that yet from the team, and I think you’ll have to wait for that."
When asked whether the Honda engines due to arrive at McLaren for 2015 were part of his considerations, Button concurred: ‘Yeah, there’s a lot about this team in the future that definitely appeals to me, that’s very exciting and new challenges. But even next season for me, I’m excited about next year. You’ve got the initial challenges of the engine, and trying to understand the car and aerodynamics and the power unit, I think if you put the time and the effort in it’ll make a big difference this winter…it’s something that I think I’m pretty good at."
Button agreed though that a Ferrari drive for next year would be a highly sought after one: "I think the Ferrari seat is a great opportunity for any driver in F1. To get the opportunity to race for a team like Ferrari is very exciting: what they’ve achieved, the passion within the team, the culture’s very interesting, so I think it’s a great opportunity and hopefully someone that deserves it will get the drive."
Button did effectively rule out a Red Bull switch, saying: "I think Red Bull’s (2014 driver line up is) done."