Button: Leaving McLaren would be “wrong move”

2013 Italian Grand Prix

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Jenson Button believes it would be the wrong decision for him to leave McLaren despite the team’s struggles this year.

McLaren are yet to score a podium finish this season as the MP4-28 has been well off the pace.

However Button, who joined the team in 2010, said: “I’m very happy to stay where I am.”

“It’s very easy when times are difficult to look elsewhere but when you’re in a team that’s like McLaren, has been fighting at the front for so many years, it’s definitely the wrong move to move elsewhere.”

Button admitted he hadn’t signed a contract for next year yet and wouldn’t be drawn on the details of his negotiations with McLaren during today’s press conference ahead of the Italian Grand Prix.

“I feel like I’ve got a good family around me in the team,” he added. ” At the end of last year we ad the quickest car on the grid. We don’t know but it could easily come our way again next season. I feel that we’re making good progress, this is the right place for me.”

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Keith Collantine
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21 comments on “Button: Leaving McLaren would be “wrong move””

  1. I think his experiences with Honda will be pretty strong in his mind right now. Persevere with a struggling team and it can pay off very well in the long run. McLaren are down right now, but they’ll rise back up again. Only McLaren and Ferrari can say they’ve consistently done that throughout their time in the sport.

    1. Especially since apart from Red Bull and Mercedes who are almost sure to be in an equally competative car (well and Ferrarí, but yeah them) there is no team that offers a better perspective.

      Lotus could be nice, but who knows how long they will be able to.

  2. Quite honestly I can’t think of a team he could go to anyway. Not only is there the lack of seats but who would want him? Personally I rate him a bit better than Massa but way behind Alonso, Hamilton, Vettel, Kimi and still behind Rosberg and Romain. That only leaves the midfield teams and who would pay for his services when they can get a pay driver who doesn’t always require the car to be ‘just right’ for him to perform? I know I might be being a bit harsh but he has never struck me as a complete driver or one who can drag a car higher than it should be. I think Hamilton would have had that McLaren closer to the podium on a few occasions, or at least thrown it at the scenery trying.

    1. He is not better than the ALO,HAM,VET,RAI. But he is a completer package than GRO and ROS.
      -Yes, Grosjean is fast, But he is not a complete package… He tends to destroy his races way to often and he is certainly not consistent, lacks pace in lots of races where kimi performs. Put Button in that Lotus-seat and he would perform better than Grosjean because he isn’t a Car-crasher.
      -Yes, Rosberg has shown flashes of speed and consistency throughout his career, he is a good qualifier. But he lacks the racepace Button has (You can clearly see this aspect in this season)..
      And both of them aren’t World Champions, Yes button was lucky in 2009. But he did it anyway ;-)

      1. Grosjean is a lot less experienced than Button and given more time to cut out the mistakes he would soon be a better package than Grosjean. Button might have more points at this point than him had he been driving the Lotus but over a season Grosjean will be in a better position in races to have potentially better finishes but only (as I agree with you) once he cuts out the mistakes.

        I guess what I’m saying is that I’d rather have Grosjean and Rosberg in my team over Button for 2014 but only if Grosjean can show better consistency. But then I’m of the opinion of having a fast car that breaks down more often than having a slow car than always finishes ;)

    2. OmarR-Pepper (@)
      5th September 2013, 15:44

      @tonyyeb to put him below Rosberg and Grosjean is too much I think…

      1. He is probably on a par in terms of ‘points total at the end of a season in the same machinery’ as Grosjean but I’m standing by my assessment of Rosberg being better than Button. He has more pace, better quali and has been there to pick up the pieces. Button just lacks the ability to drive around a problem for me. He spends too much time complaining in my opinion.

        1. @tonyyeb Button has more-or-less matched Hamilton when they were team-mates. In terms of points total, in terms of race pace and was slightly off (2 or 3) in terms of victories. Hamilton is the quicker driver, but Button is (was) more consistent, so it evened out.

          Rosberg has not only failed to match Hamilton who’s moved into a new car; he consistently finishes behind him unless Hamilton has a problem/tyres. In that respect I cannot quite see how Rosberg could be better than Button.

          Grosjean is on a completely different plane to Button. “On par in terms of points total” – so you think Grosjean would’ve matched Hamilton in terms of points total if he were to race in 2010-12 Mclaren instead of Button? Because Button did. If you really thought Grosjean was that fast and consistent, surely he wouldn’t have languished so far behind Kimi. Either you’re very wrong, or Kimi must be head-and-shoulders better than any driver in F1, and would get twice as many points as Hamilton in the same car – which is probably not the case.

          When it comes to winning a championship in equal cars, Button is probably on par (maybe slightly worse) than Hamilton, Alonso and Kimi. Hamilton is certainly the outright fastest of the four. Kimi is very consistent, regardless of the car setup or track. Alonso is probably the best when it comes to racing in the traffic and driving to the needed strategy/deltas. Button rarely makes mistakes or retires; and can control the races very well (like he proved in 2009 or say Spa 2012) if the team doesn’t screw the strategy (which Mclaren usually does). In that respect, Button is similar to Kimi, although I’d rate Kimi higher.

          1. You make some good points but I would say Hamilton had much more bad luck in terms of reliability over his term as team mates with Button. In my opinion in the same team I’d rank them Ham, Ros, Gro, But.

            Kimi is one of the best in my opinion. He has speed, consistency, race craft etc. He would outscore nearly everyone on the grid if paired with any driver. Your description of Alonso and Kimi is pretty spot on. I’m not sure how much better each driver is (double the points etc) but it is just my opinion, my feeling that on each driver’s best days I just don’t rate Button compared to the other front running guys.

          2. @tonyyeb
            Im sorry to jump in, but I think you really cant say its always bad luck to have reliability issues. There is a reason why the cars fall apart, and its not always bad luck. There is a relation between driving methods and reliability. In the early days of F1 it was more obvious than now, but this element is still there. In the ’89 Monza GP Senna was lapping 0.3-0.5s a lap faster than Prost in equal machinery from lap 1, and guess whos car broke down before the end of the race.

            When the engineers realize that there is a problem with one part of the car, they advise the driver on how to drive, but the problem does not generate from nothing.
            There were and there are cars that will fall apart from a morning wind, like the 2004 Mclaren, but you cant say that everything is just bad luck. The only part were luck comes in is the timing, its bad luck that it happened in the race.

          3. @bag0 Not so sure about that these days. Drivers can’t over-rev, select the wrong gear (going from 5th to second instead of 4th for example), ride the clutch etc. Temps, flow rate, pressures etc are all monitored now unlike the past too so drivers can try to manage a problem. Nor are the tracks as brutal. And Hamilton can’t be to blame for electrical faults surely? Sorry I just don’t buy that driving style has much of an influence on reliability these days.

    3. I think he could go to Ferrari.

      As you rightly mention, he is a step below Alonso. So, Ferrari can be sure he won’t be a threat. Plus, Button is very much a team player. Remember Brazil 2010, he was still mathematically in the championship but he asked his team, how can I help Lewis.

      Plus, Button is in the twilight of his career. He won’t be winning any championships going forward. What better way to bow out driving the red car….

      1. I agree, Ferrari seems to be a very good match for Button. However, I’m not so sure about him not being a threat to Alonso. Sure, if Alonso performs on the level of last year, he’s going to be further in the championship, but Alonso doesn’t churn out perfect seasons on a regular basis. 2007 was flawed, 2011 was not particularly special, and neither is this year (so far.)

        Hamilton beat Alonso by a narrow margin, he also beat Button (in my opinion), but also by a narrow margin. There’s nothing to suggest that 2011-form Button couldn’t challenge Alonso. Another stat going in Button’s favour is that Alonso is not a qualifier Hamilton was, so he won’t have to start every race 6 places behind his team-mate.

      2. Remember Brazil 2010, he was still mathematically in the championship but he asked his team, how can I help Lewis.

        Why dont I remember this???

        As far as I remember, it wasn’t until Jenson was mathematically out of the championship, that he decided to help Hamilton

  3. I think Hamilton would have had that McLaren closer to the podium on a few occasions, or at least thrown it at the scenery trying.

    Quite funny!

  4. Button should be gratefull to be driving a Mc Laren. He is such a mediocre driver…But now he realize Kimi is arround the corner, looking for a good team. Mercedes, Lotus and RedBull are out of Kimi’s path. That leaves Ferrari and Mc Laren. Ferrari has Alonso.
    Jenson…you should light a candle everyday to Ross Brawn.

  5. I really dont get. When Lewis was at mclaren this guy so badly wanted to be the no.1 driver. Every1 talked abt how button got the whole team to work around him. Inevitably Lewis left the team n button eventually declared tht the 2013 car completely had his driver input and was the best car ever. It has turned out to be the worst. And Lewis is seemingly doing very well at mercedes to the great admiration of ron dennis. And now this same button is even talking abt leaving mclaren? He made his bed now he must lie in it.

    1. Which part of the above article mentions Button talking about leaving McLaren?

      “I’m very happy to stay where I am.”
      “… it’s definitely the wrong move to move elsewhere.”
      “I feel that we’re making good progress, this is the right place for me.”

    2. Did you read the article mr “sennapart2”?

      Button makes it pretty clear that he has the intent to stay in the team for the forseeable future

  6. Button is a brilliant driver. He just doesn’t drive the car in a spectacular manner.
    While you’ll see Hamilton and Alonso et al drive the wheels off, and give the fans something to cheer about, usually Button will just deliver.

    I think Canada 2011 was the best race I’ve ever seen.

  7. Button is no fool. He struggled for years in non-competitive machines. Why leave a team with a proven history of success that you know is willing to pour money and resources to fix whatever problem they are currently having.

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