Button and manager visit McLaren

McLaren has confirmed British newspaper reports revealing that Jenson Button visited the Woking based team's headquarters on Friday. The 2009 world champion-elect had just touched down in Heathrow after a post-season holiday in Japan when he...

McLaren has confirmed British newspaper reports revealing that Jenson Button visited the Woking based team's headquarters on Friday.

The 2009 world champion-elect had just touched down in Heathrow after a post-season holiday in Japan when he made "a small detour to Woking to say hello", a McLaren spokesman said.

The Guardian newspaper said his manager Richard Goddard was also given a tour of the factory by team boss Martin Whitmarsh.

Briton Button, 29, is considering lining up alongside 2008 world champion Lewis Hamilton next year, with his current employer Brawn not willing to substantially increase his retainer.

Goddard was quoted by the Telegraph newspaper as scoffing at Ross Brawn's proposal that Button be given more freedom to negotiate personal sponsorships rather than more money.

"Jenson has always controlled his own image rights," he said, adding that the current situation - with Brawn not playing ball despite rumours of big sponsors for 2010 and a takeover by Mercedes - is "worrying".

"If Brawn are going to sell the team, and there is going to be a big influx of money, then why shouldn't Jenson be making some of that?" he said.

"Ultimately, Jenson is a very loyal guy but at some point it stops being about the money. Let's face it, everyone likes to feel wanted," said Goddard.

Earlier this week, Kimi Raikkonen also visited McLaren, as the team looks to replace Hamilton's current teammate Heikki Kovalainen.

Meanwhile, Ferrari confirmed reports that Fernando Alonso will appear at Ferrari's 'Finale Mondiali' event at Valencia on Sunday.

"I wish to thank Renault for making it possible for Fernando to be in Valencia; a generous gesture which is much appreciated," said team boss Stefano Domenicali, referring to the fact that the Spaniard remains under contract to his 2009 team.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Kimi Raikkonen , Fernando Alonso , Ross Brawn , Lewis Hamilton , Heikki Kovalainen , Martin Whitmarsh , Richard Goddard
Teams Ferrari , Mercedes , McLaren