McLaren confirms Button for 2016 F1 season

McLaren has brought an official end to speculation about Jenson Button's future by confirming that the former world champion will stay for 2016.

McLaren confirms Button for 2016 F1 season
Jenson Button, McLaren MP4-30
Jenson Button, McLaren
Jenson Button, McLaren
Jenson Button, McLaren MP4-30
Jenson Button, McLaren

Although the team had a contract with the Briton for next year, there was an option to terminate it – plus it could not force Button to stay if he wanted to retire.

However, following talks between driver and team at last weekend's Japanese Grand Prix, both parties have agreed that they want to continue for next year.

Future thoughts

Button admitted that he had given serious thought to his future on the back of a difficult 2015 campaign, but in the end decided that he was not ready to turn his back on F1.

"Over the past month or so I have done quite a lot of thinking, and it is no secret that I was at one point in two minds about my future," he said.

"But I have been a McLaren driver for six seasons now [2010-2015], and in that time I have got to know Ron very well.

"He and I have had some very good chats these past few weeks, and during those chats it has become clear to me that Ron is both utterly determined and uniquely equipped to lead our team through its current difficulties to great successes in the future.

"That gives me great confidence, and it is for that reason that, together, he and I have decided to continue our partnership; and, as soon as I had made that decision, straight away I realised it was the correct one.

"Okay, granted, this year has not been an easy one for us, but we know what we need to do to improve things and, in collaboration with Honda, we will work extremely hard over the next weeks and months in order to make sure that 2016 will be a much better season than 2015 has been."

Commitment key

Although well aware that it could terminate Button's contract if wanted, McLaren chairman Ron Dennis said that with it clear how committed his driver was to making a success of their new Honda era, it was a no-brainer to keep him.

"As I have made clear whenever I have been asked about the subject, Jenson's current contract is of two years'; duration [2015 and 2016]," he said.

"There is a 'terminate after year one' option that McLaren could have triggered if we had wished to do so, but, once it became clear from my many conversations with Jenson that he remained as enthusiastic and as committed and as focused as ever, that option immediately became an irrelevance."

Dennis also clarified that the financial terms put in place last year, which triggers a pay rise for Button next season, are to be honoured.

"Jenson will race for McLaren-Honda next year, under the terms and conditions as set out in the two-year contract that both parties entered into a year ago."

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