McLaren hopes to convince Button to stay

McLaren says it is still hoping it can convince Jenson Button to remain at its Formula 1 team next year, despite the uncertainty about his future.

Button has been surrounded by speculation that he may choose to retire from grand prix racing at the end of this season.

Although McLaren has a contractual option on Button that, if it took up, would force the former world champion to stay on board for 2016, the team has made it clear that it would commit if the Briton wanted to remain.

Speaking at the Japanese Grand Prix on Friday, McLaren chief operating officer Jonathan Neale said: "There are a lot of discussions with Jenson.

"He is a fantastic guy, a world champion, and a big part of our family at McLaren-Honda. We are contracted with him. We want him to stay and we like him very much.

"But if you are a driver who doesn't want to be in a seat, you have to respect that. I hope we have done enough between us to continue those discussions with him and have the confidence to have him with us. That is what we would like."

Button tight-lipped

Button has come to the Japanese GP at the centre of media reports that he could announce his retirement.

But the former world champion insisted that nothing was settled yet, as discussions with the team about what he does in the future continue.

"You're going to have to wait for a little while, I'm sorry to say," he explained. "We're in good talks, the team and myself so, that's it. We're here to concentrate on this weekend.

"It's a big weekend for us. McLaren-Honda in front of Honda's home crowd at their circuit… we hope that we can have a good weekend.

"Obviously the weather mixes it up a little bit which I think is what we need to be properly competitive so yeah, we're focussing on this weekend and hoping for a reasonable result."

Button interview on Inside GP


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About this article
Series Formula 1
Event Japanese GP
Track Suzuka
Drivers Jenson Button
Teams McLaren
Article type Breaking news