I’ve maintained that McLaren boss Ron Dennis doesn’t have the soft spot in his heart for world champion Jenson Button—not like the rest of us do. You see, Jenson was brought on under the leadership of Martin Whitmarsh and while it worked then, I’m not so sure it will work now.
Some argue that Jenson’s love of Japan and the camaraderie he shares with Honda will help the return of the manufacturer in 2015 as an engine supplier to the team. I’m not sure Dennis feels that is a benefit to be honest but that’s just my hunch.
Where do I get this crazy notions? Simple…read Ron Dennis’s words and body language when queried about Button and you can see a rigidity form like this:
“I’m happy with the drivers in the sense I think they are giving their best,” Dennis commented to Sky Sports and the Telegraph. “I’m sure Kevin is giving a big wake-up call to Jenson. In some ways you say: ‘Great, we’ve made a great choice with Kevin.’ But in other ways you say: ‘Come on Jenson, you are a world champion and absolutely one thing you can do on a consistent basis – and you should be doing it – is beating your team-mate.’
“Do I want him to try harder? Of course I do. He’s a highly paid grand prix driver. Yes, we are not giving him the best car; yes, it would be challenging for him to win in this car, to say the least, but he could do his bit and Kevin has to make it as difficult for him as possible.”
With the team rumored to be speaking with Fernando Alonso and even re-heating conversation with Lewis Hamilton, one might suggest that the days are numbered for Button in Woking.
Whether his departure happens in 2015 could be arguable, as it would take a serious roll of the dice for Alonso or Hamilton to jump on board in Honda’s teething year. Could the team keep Button for another year and would Button sign a single-year contract? That remains to be seen but if he were to leave, where do you see him going? Would he stay in Formula 1? Maybe Mark Webber could use a hand over in the WEC? Nissan is bringing an LMP1 to life so perhaps Button’s Japanese connection could help there?