Formula One: Button in plea for McLaren to sort out his future
Published 30/08/2011 | 00:00
Jenson Button has urged McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh to finally take up the option on his contract for next year given his desire to remain with the marque.
With seven Grands Prix to go this season Button is in the dark for 2012 as McLaren have yet to confirm he will be retained.
Of the top four teams — McLaren, Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes — the 31-year-old is the only driver who does not have a guaranteed seat for next season.
Until Whitmarsh declares his hand, Button is in limbo.
Asked as to when next year would be sorted, Button replied: “Well, if he (Whitmarsh) takes up the option...
“All he has to do is say yes and I will say yes because I want to be here next year.
“It's up to the team as to when they approach me.”
Whilst the ball is firmly in McLaren's court with regard to Button for next year, the belief is negotiations are under way in relation to a deal beyond 2012.
However, Button and manager Richard Goddard are for now simply happy for McLaren to take up the option for next year.
It is inconceivable Button will not be retained, certainly not in the wake of his victories in Canada and Hungary, and then a “driver-of-the-day” display in yesterday's Belgian Grand Prix, as described by Whitmarsh.
Starting from 13th on the grid, he dropped to 19th at the end of lap five following an early pit stop for a front-wing change that was damaged in the mayhem at the first corner, before coming home third behind winner Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber.
Button, however, now finds himself 110 points adrift of championship leader Vettel. With 175 points up for grabs, there is not much room left for error.
“I don't think we're thinking about the championship. As we always say, we're just going to go to every race and try and win it,” said Button.
“We were two places off a victory (in Belgium) in a race I thought we were going to win.”