Tag Archives: Jenson Button

Button confirmed at McLaren for 2016 – and he gets his money

McLaren has confirmed that Jenson Button will indeed stay with the team in 2016.

Button always had a two-year deal but McLaren could have terminated it by September 30, and indeed the 2009 World Champion could have retired and walked away.

The contract included a substantial pay rise for 2016, but Ron Dennis had been attempting to get Jenson to stay on for the same money that he got this year, under a renegotiated deal. It now appears that Button has won this battle of wills, and will get his money after all, as Dennis says that the original terms and conditions have been met.

Jenson and I have been discussing his plans in private for the past few weeks,” said Dennis in a statement.And the fact that our talks have led to today’s announcement is very pleasing to both of us and will delight and motivate all at McLaren-Honda.

As I have made clear whenever I have been asked about the subject, Jenson’s current contract is of two years’; duration [2015 and 2016]. There is a ‘terminate after year one’ option that McLaren could have triggered if we had wished to do so, but, once it became clear from my many conversations with Jenson that he remained as enthusiastic and as committed and as focused as ever, that option immediately became an irrelevance. That being the case, Jenson will race for McLaren-Honda next year, under the terms and conditions as set out in the two-year contract that both parties entered into a year ago.”

Button himself added: “Over the past month or so I have done quite a lot of thinking, and it is no secret that I was at one point in two minds about my future.

But I have been a McLaren driver for six seasons now [2010-2015], and in that time I have got to know Ron very well. He and I have had some very good chats these past few weeks, and during those chats it has become clear to me that Ron is both utterly determined and uniquely equipped to lead our team through its current difficulties to great successes in the future.

That gives me great confidence, and it is for that reason that, together, he and I have decided to continue our partnership; and, as soon as I had made that decision, straight away I realised it was the correct one.”


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Jenson Button: “We’ve made a massive step with the engine here…”

McLaren’s current form was benchmarked again in Malaysia as Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso qualified 17th and 18th.

However Button was adamant that the team is making progress and that the gap to the opposition is closing.

“When you get out of the car and you’re 17th on the grid, obviously you’re disappointed, it’s always the way,” he said. “But you’ve got to look at what we’ve done in terms of progress. It is a lot of progress, tomorrow I think we’ll show that a lot more with the higher fuel runs, I think we’re a lot more competitive with higher fuel.

“We’ve made a massive step with the engine here, I think you’ll probably see that tomorrow in the race in terms of efficiency and fuel usage as well. We were saving crazy amounts of fuel at the first race, up to 20% at one point. It’s going to be a lot easier for us, and I think our pace will show that tomorrow. It’s still going to be tough, but we’re making progress.”

Regarding prospects for the race he said: “Same as always, head down and see where we end up. It’s a lot of data gathering again, but we obviously want to do the best we can as well, already getting onto the back of the cars in front. At the last race I was 38s behind the second to last guy, so if we can get a lot closer than that, we should be happy with progress. It’s only two weeks, there’s no testing in F1, so this is good progress. I hope we continue like this.”

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Jenson Button: “Obviously not the easiest start to the season…”

McLaren endured another difficult day in Jerez as the Jenson Button failed to complete a flying lap on his first outing in the MP4-30, but the former World Champion says he’s not concerned about the teething problems with the package.

The car spent most of the day in the garage after running five stop-start laps early in the day, before Jenson re-emerged for a single lap on a damp track at the end of the day.

“It’s nice to be a part of the new era of McLaren-Honda,” he said. “I think it has a very exciting future, but as we all know things take a little bit of time. I feel that the atmosphere in the team is very good, and I when I say team, I mean McLaren-Honda. I think that it’s key for everyone to remember that it’s not McLaren with an engine manufacturer, it is one team, with one goal. It’s a good atmosphere.

“Obviously not the easiest start to the season, but as we know it’s a very complicated power unit. We will get our heads around it, and in terms of the problems we had today we had our head around it and understand the issue, and that’s what the last run of the day was in the wet, to really understand it, and I think we do now, which is good. So we’re hoping for a much more productive day three and day four.”

Button cited Red Bull’s 2014 testing problems as an example of a team turning things around: “You look at where the Red Bull was at the first couple of tests, and even the last test in Bahrain – obviously they got the result taken away from them, but they finished second at the first Grand Prix. So a lot can happen.

“And we always knew the first test was going to be difficult, it always is, it’s not as straightforward as it used to be with sticking an engine in the car and trying to power round. It’s a very complex system, the power unit. We’ve had a few little niggling things that we’ve been able to solve now. As I said tomorrow we’ll see where we stand.”

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Jenson Button: “This is what I’ve done for 15 years…”

Jenson Button provided a timely reminder of his ability by taking fourth place at Interlagos as speculation continues about his future.

It’s widely assumed that McLaren won’t have room for Jenson next year, with an Alonso/Magnussen line-up the most favoured combination.

Button ran fifth initially, and moved up when Valtteri Bottas had a problem at the second stops. Team mate Kevin Magnussen finished ninth.

“It was all pretty smooth up until the last pit stop. There was just a bit of miscommunication coming into the pits – the call wasn’t entirely made to come in. It was talked about what would happen if we did stop. It was just a bit of a miscommunication, we were talking over each other at the time. I did one extra lap, which might have cost us a place.

“It was a fun race. Straightline speed was a bit of an issue with the Ferrari, I had a great battle with Kimi. I enjoyed that very much. P4, a shame we couldn’t quite hang onto Massa.

“Judging the race was so tricky with tyres, but I think we did a good job. I pushed really hard on the first stint on the primes when I was up behind Bottas. I destroyed my rears trying to stay with him, but I thought if I could stay in DRS we can gap the guys behind. It was worth it, and it worked in the end. But I had to back off on the next stint to really conserve the tyres.”

Regarding his future he said: “All I can say is I feel I’m doing a good job at the moment. I’ve got nothing to prove. This is what I do, this is what I’ve done for 15 years. I’ll always do my best. Sometimes it obviously isn’t enough, but today it obviously was.

“All you’ve got to do is drive the car as fast as you can, and carry yourself as well as you can, that’s all you can do. The rest isn’t in your hands.”


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Jenson Button: “A fourth place without people crashing is probably our aim…”

Jenson Button was one of the unsung heroes of the Canadian GP, the McLaren driver having snatched a surprise fourth place after running as low as 11th for most of the first stint.

Button found pace as the race went on and on the penultimate lap he jumped up from eighth to sixth when Fernando Alonso and Nico Hulkenberg got tangled up at the hairpin, and the Spaniard ran wide while the German lost momentum on the exit. Right after that at the start of the final lap he gained two more spots when Sergio Perez and Felipe Massa crashed out.

“The first stint for me was not good on the option tyre, I really struggled with that,” said Button. “As soon as we got on the prime, the pace was good.

“I was so far back after my first stint, that was the problem, and then everything just fell wrong, as it has done for me here many times, as in a certain race in 2011! But then I was able to pick it up at the end and the car was working well. So I was able to catch up, obviously helped by some cars slowing down at the end of the race. But that’s part of it, you’ve got to judge your race and it’s from A to B, how quickly you can go, and not individual laps.

“Some races you get unlucky, some races you put yourself in the right place, and it works out. But in terms of how the car feels, that’s more important, and there is progress being made. The feel of the car is the best it’s been all year I think, with less downforce as well.”

Button said he really enjoyed his afternoon, and the chance to race properly

“I had a lot fun out there, with some good moves going on, not just in the DRS zones but the hairpin as well. An enjoyable race, and obviously the last [racing] lap was a lot of fun between Hulkenberg, Fernando and myself. Very happy to get fourth, some good points. But I think more than the position the progress that the team has made is good, and there’s more to come at the next race, hopefully a bigger step.

“The next couple of races are where we should see more progress, which should take us close to the front. A fourth place without people crashing is probably our aim for the next race, I should say.”

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Jenson Button: “It hits you, like a stake through the heart…”

Jenson Button has made it clear that the Australian GP will be an emotional weekend, coming so soon after the death of his father John.

Button was speaking to British newspaper journalists for the first time about the loss of his father, who died aged 70 earlier this year.

“Whether I liked it or not, my dad was always the last person to give me a high-five or a cuddle before I got into the car,” he said in The Guardian. “Even if I was getting into the car and trying to concentrate he’d always be there to make sure he gave me that last hug.

“I’m going to miss that a lot. If I make the podium it will be unbelievably emotional and if it all turns to shit, and we have a crap race, it will also be emotional too because he’s not there to pick me up.”

Button acknowledged that his father provided priceless support behind the scenes: “When I’d had a bad race he’d come in and put it into perspective. That would annoy me in some ways. I knew he was right, but when your dad is trying to tell you something when you’re in a bad mood it’s always difficult. So it’s going to be a very emotional weekend, and not the only one this year.

“It’s when you’re away from racing, or away from people, that’s when it hurts you. It hits you, like a stake through the heart.”

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Jenson Button: “We weren’t lucky in qualifying…”

Jenson Button will start the Belgian GP from sixth place after a solid performance by McLaren in a rain affected qualifying session.

Button, who anticipated that the MP4-28 would be good at Spa, was actually happier with his dry weather pace in Q2.

“I think we basically got what we deserved,” said the 2012 Belgian GP winner.  “We weren’t lucky in qualifying, we didn’t make any outstanding judgement calls. We did a good job in terms of the car was working well, and we didn’t make any mistakes under pressure.

“It was such a difficult qualifying session, it wasn’t just which tyre to be on, it was how much fuel to put in the car in Q3. We weren’t sure whether we should put a lot of fuel in the car when we went out on the slick tyre in case we did have to go inters. But we thought we’d go one lap, because we want to get the most out of the slick tyre. That obviously hurt us, because when we put the inters on we had to refuel, and that took time. But I think everything went reasonably smoothly.”

Button was pleased with the car’s overall performance.

“The wet pace was good, not far off any car out there, but the pace I was very happy with was the dry pace in Q2, three and a half tenths off the quickest. The car felt like it was working very well. I think we’ve definitely made some positive steps forward. There are still areas where we’re not strong enough, and we’ve realise that this weekend, but we’ve realised that this weekend. But to be P5 in Q2, that’s really the lap that I’m most happy with.”

Asked to elaborate on the improvement in the car, he said: “I can’t be too specific. I think generally we have a better car, we have more downforce that’s working in the correct areas. The car feels good. In Q2 I really enjoyed the lap around here, high speed, mid speed, feels good, even if you compare it to last year’s lap. There are definite areas where we’ve made a good step, other areas we still need to improve for the next few races. Nice to make the step forward, hopefully we can show a little bit more tomorrow.”

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