SEPTEMBER 9, 2011
McLaren want Button long-term
McLaren has yet to take up a 2012 option on Jenson Button but it is believed to be a formality.
"We want Jenson to here and he wants to be here -- he knows that," said McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh in Italy.
The team has an option on Button which is believed to expire soon and which it will take up to keep the 2009 world champion in the team alongside Lewis Hamilton for a third year.
Whitmarsh has said, however, that he wants to have Button at McLaren for the duration of his career, however long that might be, and then possibly in an ambassadorial role.
The negotiating points, therefore, are logically the length of the agreement and the money.
Button's management is understood to want an agreement more in line with Hamilton's in terms of remuneration. After his spectacular debut with the team in 2007, Hamilton extended his deal with the team in his championship-winning 2008 season, when there was less fiscal pressure on the sport and its teams.
McLaren has been impressed by Button's approach and maturity. Jenson and Lewis currently have two wins each in 2011 and Button is ahead of his team mate in the championship standings.
The team is keen to ink a long-term deal with Button but Jenson, knowing that there is the possibility of free seats at both Red Bull and Ferrari at the end of next season, may not wish to commit beyond the end of the existing option.