Button wanted answers before new McLaren deal

Jenson Button has admitted that he wanted certain assurances from McLaren about its potential to improve before abandoning all thoughts of walking away from Formula 1.

McLaren announced last week that Button's place for 2016 was secure, amid speculation that the former world champion was contemplating calling time on his career.

And although Button played down reports that he came close to wanting out, he said contemplating options outside of F1 had crossed his mind until the team gave him confidence about its plans for next year.

When asked by Motorsport.com about how close he came to calling time on F1, he said: "It is difficult to quantify, really. I had thoughts of what direction I would take if I wasn't here next year and what I could possibly do, but it wasn't in my mind for very long.

"There were things that I felt I needed more information on, of where this team was going and that is why I spent a lot of time with Ron [Dennis] on the phone, but also at the MTC [McLaren Technology Centre] last week.

"I spent a lot of time with the engineers, the aerodynamicists, running through everything on the engine programme and that is the reason why I decided to stay."

No fear of leaving

Button said his decision to commit to F1 was done for the right reasons, and not because he was worried about no longer being a grand prix driver.

"Definitely I don't have a fear of leaving. There is not that. I don't think I have that.

"When you have raced for so long – the only reason you want to keep racing is because you have a chance to be competitive. Obviously we are not there yet. But it will be the case in the future."

He added: "There are lots of changes with the team, with the power unit, and this is still a very young partnership. A lot will change over this winter and you will see a much more competitive team next year."

Spoken earlier

Button did admit, however, that the uncertainty about his future could have ended earlier if he had spoken to McLaren chiefs sooner about the plans.

"Sometimes there are miscommunications and you maybe... I think that is the way in life," he said. "We should talk more often in teams and I should have sat down earlier and gone through it.

"But it doesn't matter. We have gone through it now and that is the important thing. As long as we did it before next year that is all that matters."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jenson Button
Teams McLaren
Article type Breaking news