SEPTEMBER 26, 2015
Lauda tells Dennis to pay Button the money!
F1 legend Niki Lauda suggests the uncertainty about Jenson Button's future is all about money.
Until now, it has been rumoured the 35-year-old veteran's deliberations have been about his lost "joy" amid McLaren-Honda's struggles, and the realisation that the team's recovery might take too long.
But earlier, a story circulated that McLaren and Button are simply arguing over a scheduled $4 million pay-rise in his existing deal.
Lauda, a former McLaren driver and now Mercedes' team chairman, told the British broadcaster BBC at Suzuka: "I said to Jenson yesterday 'Fight your fight with Ron Dennis over money, because it is always the same'.
"'But then stay, because if you go, one of the last quick guys has gone'," Lauda added. "So I say to Ron, 'Pay him the money!'"
Lauda said that as struggling McLaren-Honda builds for the future, it is obvious it should do everything to keep Button alongside Fernando Alonso.
"What is the best combination to make the car go fast and develop the engine? It is those two guys," he insisted. "Put a young guy in the car and the engine does not go faster.
"In the end, Jenson and Ron are clever enough to get it together. Jenson said to me yesterday he wants to drive there and he doesn't want to retire," Lauda concluded.