McLaren Group CEO Ron Dennis has taken responsibility for not resolving Jenson Button's future sooner as the veteran driver now appears on the brink of remaining in Formula 1.
Following the Singapore Grand Prix a week ago Button dropped a hint he could quit F1 as he spoke of a lack of "joy" and having made a decision over 2016.
Dennis has now suggested Button's doubts were because the 35-year-old had been given no indication whether the option in his contract to end the partnership would be applied.
Following discussions this week, Button has been given reassurances by Dennis he is wanted for 2016.
"Jenson has a two-year contract," said Dennis, who has been struggling this week with a virus that confined him to his hotel room for a while while on business in Tokyo.
"The only thing is I should have taken away any doubt over our commitment to him earlier than I did.
"I didn't speak to him until Thursday. It would have been more constructive if he'd known I had no intention of exercising our option to terminate.
"But these sorts of decisions are not mine and mine alone. They have to be supported by the shareholders, and as much as I hate consensus, I informed Jenson accordingly.
"I could have done it a couple of days earlier. If I had I don't think it would have been an issue now."
Suggested it was now a given Button would stay, Dennis replied: "The position he found himself in, like any relationship, whether it's a human relationship or any partnership, you need to know the other party wants you.
"I took that doubt away, doubt I don't think was constructive to his thinking."
It is understood the ball is now back in Button's court, and he has to decide whether to see out his contract or walk away.
In Japan, it proved to be another uncomfortable race, with Button 16th and a lap down at Honda's home track Suzuka.
He said: "It was a tough weekend in front of the whole of Honda and all the fans we have here.
"It was always going to be difficult because we want to succeed in front of them. We are doing our best, but our best isn't good enough at the moment.
"We've a lot of work to do. I think it's so tough for us because we're so used to fighting at the front.
"Now it's not fighting. It's like a samurai warrior without his armour and sword. It's very difficult."