Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 12 July 2014

McLaren to deal Button in after Mercedes buy Brawn

Jenson Button

McLaren remain locked in talks with Jenson Button over a deal which could see the new world champion paired with Lewis Hamilton in an all-British line-up from next year.

Button has been heavily linked with McLaren since capturing his maiden Formula One drivers' title after talks stalled over a new deal with current employers Brawn GP.

Yesterday's announcement that Mercedes-Benz had secured a controlling interest in the Brawn team intensified speculation over where the 29-year-old will be driving next season.

Button was shown around McLaren's headquarters by team principal Martin Whitmarsh last week and there have been suggestions that terms on a three-year deal worth £18million have been agreed and the contract will be signed within days.

A McLaren spokesperson confirmed talks between the two parties remain ongoing, but refused to be drawn on whether a deal for Button was close, saying: “The situation is that we've got no comment at the moment. There's been a lot said on it already and there's nothing I can say over and above what is out there.”

Button's negotiations with the Brawn team reportedly stalled over his salary demands. It is believed McLaren are more inclined to meet his expectations, with a salary of £8million widely reported.

The Mercedes takeover, which will see the Brawn team rebranded as Mercedes Grand Prix from 2010, has further heightened the doubts over Button's future.

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