Ultimately the chance of Jenson Button remaining at McLaren comes down to contract negotiations, money, length of term and many other factors including faith or confidence in his abilities or even other potential driver’s the team might feel they have to take. However, on the surface of it all stands the simple issue of: Would you keep Jenson Button for one or two more years?
While I have never gotten the impression that Ron Dennis has been Jenson’s biggest fan, team boss Eric Boullier has been a little more diplomatic about the Button issue in the press. He recently told AUTOSPORT:
“Jenson knows the important thing is to score as many points as he can,” Boullier added.
“He doesn’t have to prove anything as he is a world champion and has won many races for McLaren.
“I think we need to be realistic as well, because in one, two, three years we may need to refresh our driver line-up and obviously we will be seeking the best drivers at that moment in time.”
Perhaps one of the bigger elements in Button’s future at McLaren is the availability of other drivers the team feels might be a better fit. If those drivers are affordable and available then Jenson may be shown the door. IF the potential driver is available at the end of next year, then signing a one-year extension might be something you’d like to do but if you’re Jenson, you’re not signing a one-year deal if you are looking to stay in F1.
Jenson says he isn’t focusing on other racing series and that Formula 1 is where he wants to be. To be honest, the number of permutations that could be involved in this decision are numerous. It’s one of those enigmas in F1when a driver leaves a team such as Sergio Perez left McLaren last year after only one year in the seat. It’s hard to know all the reasons a team decides one way or the other.
As for Jenson, I personally would be happy to have him on board because given the right car, he can win races and knows how to score points. He seems amenable to sponsor work from what I’ve seen and is a good veteran to have in the team. He’s scored 50 podiums and 15 wins with 1,132 career points from 258 starts.
Then again, if you could lure Fernando Alonso away, you might be saying…”Jenson who?”. Fernando has 97 podiums and 32 wins with 1,721 career points from 227 starts.