F1

Whitmarsh not denying Button/McLaren reports

McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh has refused to dismiss reports tipping new world champion Jenson Button to become Lewis Hamilton's teammate in 2010. As 29-year-old Button's dispute with his Brawn bosses over the size of his retainer...

McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh has refused to dismiss reports tipping new world champion Jenson Button to become Lewis Hamilton's teammate in 2010.

As 29-year-old Button's dispute with his Brawn bosses over the size of his retainer continues, newspapers including the Daily Mail and the Sun said the 'number 1' could be back on a silver-coloured car next season.

The Daily Mail said the British sponsor Vodafone "would welcome the tantalising lineup", and a source at the mobile company added: "Any team would like to have two world champions in their ranks."

Another source told the Sun tabloid: "Vodafone would be very keen on the idea."

Asked directly about the rumours, Whitmarsh said: "We've talked to a number of drivers. It wouldn't be appropriate to say more than that.

"We'll hire the two best drivers available to us as we always have," he added, amid expectations Heikki Kovalainen will not be retained.

The newspaper also said Toyota is interested in Button "but he is unlikely to go there".

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