Button set for new McLaren deal

Jenson Button is set to be handed a fresh McLaren deal in the next few weeks, AUTOSPORT has learned, with the team ready to offer improved terms to keep the Briton on board

Button set for new McLaren deal

On the back of mounting speculation that Ferrari is interested in tempting Button to Maranello to help bolster its own title challenge in the longer term, it is understood that McLaren is prepared to move quickly to tie Button's future down.

Button is currently only under option at McLaren for next year, with the activation clause on the team's side. That situation means that even if Button had tempting offers from elsewhere, he would be unable to move if McLaren wanted him to stay.

A simple take-up of that option is unlikely, though, with Button currently in brilliant form and both team and driver thinking of nothing other than a future together.

AUTOSPORT understands that McLaren is prepared to improve the terms of the original deal to keep the 2009 world champion happy.

Any likely improvement in the contract that Button gets as part of a fresh deal would likely be done in exchange for a lengthier deal - so there is a chance that he could commit his future at McLaren well beyond the end of 2012.

While Button appears to be edging closer to securing his place at McLaren, the future of Lewis Hamilton remains uncertain - with talks about his own contract not likely to start for several months yet.

Hamilton has made it clear several times this year that he will be happy to stay at McLaren as long as it provides him with a competitive car.

However, AUTOSPORT revealed last week that Hamilton's frustration with the performance of his McLaren in qualifying in Canada - at a race where he had been expected to be on pole position - resulting in him making a surprise visit to Red Bull Racing boss Christian Horner on Saturday night for private talks.

Although there is no suggestion that was the start of contract discussions, the visit showed that Hamilton may be willing to consider options outside of McLaren if the team cannot provide him with a car that is capable of fighting for the title.

But despite his feelings on Saturday in Montreal, Hamilton may be more open to a future at McLaren after seeing team-mate Button win in Canada - and witnessing further evidence that while Red Bull Racing has a qualifying advantage, it may be McLaren that has the fastest car in the races.

Of the current top teams, only Fernando Alonso at Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel at Red Bull Racing have committed themselves to their present squads for the long term.

shares
comments
Single DRS detection point to remain

Previous article

Single DRS detection point to remain

Next article

Lotus pledges to learn from Canada

Lotus pledges to learn from Canada
Load comments
US Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

US Grand Prix Driver Ratings

On a baking hot afternoon in Texas, Formula 1 drivers were tested to their limits. As the pressure on the title contending squads reaches an ever-greater level of intensity, the foremost challengers again showed their class, but were outshone by a standout drive from the upper midfield

Why F1's misunderstood party animal will thrive in retirement Plus

Why F1's misunderstood party animal will thrive in retirement

Three years on from Kimi Raikkonen's last Grand Prix victory at Austin, he is now six races away from ending the longest Formula 1 career in history. His friend and former Ice1 Racing rally team PR man ANTHONY PEACOCK explains why there’s nobody quite like the 2007 world champion and why F1 will miss him (but he won’t miss it)

The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert Plus

The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert

It's 50 years since Jo Siffert was killed in his prime at Brands Hatch. The Swiss scored just two world championship wins in a Formula 1 career spent largely with privateer teams, but showed on numerous occasions in single-seaters and in sportscars with Porsche that he could beat any of the best drivers of his era given the right equipment

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: How Red Bull’s ace has become F1 champion material Plus

Verstappen exclusive: How Red Bull’s ace has become F1 champion material

As Red Bull and Honda go all-out for victory in the Japanese engine manufacturer’s last season of its latest Formula 1 dalliance, Max Verstappen finds himself thrust into a compelling title fight with Lewis Hamilton. He told OLEG KARPOV about his evolution into a world championship contender and why Red Bull's no compromise ethos suits him down to the ground

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021
How Mercedes went from Austin practice domination to "very tight at the front" with Red Bull Plus

How Mercedes went from Austin practice domination to "very tight at the front" with Red Bull

Mercedes has been on a roll of late in the ultra-tight fight to win the 2021 Formula 1 world championship. It started off well in practice at Austin for this weekend’s US Grand Prix, but Red Bull got closer as Friday unfolded and even seemed to find an edge in one critical area of what seems set to be another close contest

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021
The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen Plus

The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen

The 2021 Formula 1 title battle is finely poised with six races remaining, as just six points separate championship leader Max Verstappen from seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton. In such a closely-fought season, the outcome could hinge on several small factors playing the way of Red Bull or Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021
Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed? Plus

Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed?

Aston Martin owner Lawrence Stroll is determined to make the group a billion-dollar business. MARK GALLAGHER analyses his latest play – bringing former McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh into the fold

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021
Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner Plus

Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner

Stepping up to F1 in 1962, Jo Siffert shone with Rob Walker Racing Team and BRM before his career was abruptly ended in a fatal crash at Brands Hatch in 1971. On the 50th anniversary of his death, Autosport recalls the career of an F1 and sportscar ace gone before his time

Formula 1
Oct 21, 2021