Fixing problems takes priority over contract – Button

2014 F1 season

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Jenson Button, McLaren, Sepang International Circuit, 2014Jenson Button says he and McLaren need to find solutions to their lack of competitiveness at the moment before turning their attention to extending his contract to drive for them.

Asked if any progress had been made on renewing his current deal Button said: “no, no more progress”.

“But that’s the way it is. We’re here, we’ve spent four good years together already, in our fifth year together. And we both want, I think, to work together in the future, but it’s just not time yet, the right time.”

“We’ve got a lot of other issues to solve first before we start thinking about the future too much,” he said.

“We’re in a good place, I think my experience does help me a lot. I still feel very young at heart, fitter than ever and I have all that experience. I’m in a great position, I feel that I’ve got a lot more to give in the future in Formula One. I definitely can’t see an end to my career, this is my life, and where I want to be in the future.”

McLaren have endured a largely unsuccessful season since starting the year with a double points finish in Australia. “I think from the outside it doesn’t look spectacular, our season this year, you’d say it looks quite similar to last year,” Button admitted.

“But it’s very different: in terms of the feel of the car it’s much better, in terms of the development of the car it is working and we’re going in the right direction.

“So it’s tough, when you’ve been fighting for wins and the team are used to fighting for wins it’s difficult when you find yourself in this situation but also there are a lot of positives right now.

“I think with Ron [Dennis] back in charges and Eric [Boullier] I think they’re doing a great job of really moving the team on and changing certain things so that we will be fighting at the front again. But it just takes time things don’t change overnight even though we’re pushing very, very hard.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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21 comments on “Fixing problems takes priority over contract – Button”

  1. It’s like hearing a Alonso or Ferrari. ..We push push. At least button knows where they are at moment.

    For me button is a vary good stable driver who has been gentle with any car he drove and tyres friendly. It’s the best scenario atm for mclaren to proceed this year at mind be good in next year. His contract definitely must be upgraded for more years.

    1. It is not impossible that Honda wants to put a Japanese driver at McLaren in the near future to replace Button. Kobyashi is a choice.
      What do you guys think.

      1. Unlikely, but it would be great ^^

      2. If there is a choice between Button and Kobayashi, then I would pick Button anyday. He is a better driver at all fronts from kobayashi.

      3. @dutchtreat In fact, considering Button’s history with Honda, I wouldn’t be surprised if they wanted to keep him on.

        1. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall)
          5th June 2014, 17:37

          Button – Kobayashi would be a dream. It should have happened in 2013. Nothing against Sergio, he does a solid job (and I would have kept him on) but he’s not as exciting as Kamui.

      4. Paul (@frankjaeger)
        5th June 2014, 21:06

        @dutchtreat I’d love to see that, as a big supporter of Kamui. He really seizes opportunities around the circuit although he seems rather accident prone and incomplete as a driver, something that Jenson isn’t.

        @collettdumbletonhall Totally. I think Kamui needs to be given a decent drive, the overtakes would be spectacular.

      5. KOB was so impressive when substituting for Glock in ’09 at Toyota, and his podium at Suzuka was epic. Hard call.

        On to JB, as much as I respect him for being a class act, WDC and his years of service to F1 personally I think it’s time for a change. These young lions with the fire in the belly are amazing. Perhaps find another RIC, Magnussen at a fraction of the price…or maybe Jules?

  2. Replace Button with Alonso and you solve both the contract and the performance!

    1. Is Alonso fighting for wins? Is he doing it for less money?

    2. Really? Because I don’t see Alonso transforming Ferrari into a championship-winning team either.

      1. Really last time i checked Alo took Red Bull to the last round twice.

  3. So long Jenson and thanks for all the fish.
    Fancy a spell in LeMans with Webber?

  4. I hope this years Chassis is the right way around.

  5. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall)
    5th June 2014, 22:57

    Mclaren should keep Jenson. He’s got the better of Kevin Magnussen and he’s far surpassing people’s expectations that he was going to be blown away by this rookie. He’s got a lot of experience and close connections with Japan and Honda too. I’m guessing Mclaren will field him and Alonso next season.

    1. Chetan Chohan
      6th June 2014, 9:48

      Exactly. Kevin has matched and out-performed Jenson on occasion but inexperience has probably cost him results. Jenson is still a good and safe reliable bet for a top team. People were wanting Mclaren to go with Stoffel and Kevin this year. Had that been the case I imagine they’d have struggled a lot more. Why Jenson continues to be underrated baffles me.

  6. The one big mistake he made was joining ‘another drivers team.’ He has many many detractors because of what transpired after that. Fortunately, he also has a vastly higher number of supporters but he must be quite hurt by many of the quite vile comments he gets ‘on other sites’ for no other reason than, well, I’m not about to join in that game at any level.

    I think he’ll get a drive next year – he will be a relatively safe pair of hands for a tricky transitional year for McLaren. But with Ron about to seize back his 50% shareholding anything is possible. I would like to add a cautionary note: am I the only one that thinks Ron has lost his ‘mojo’ somewhat this time around?

  7. Button is a driver like Heidfeld. Mostly delivering consistent results. Not really top results, but usually they bring the car home and collect some points. Although I think Heidfeld is better at helping the engineers develop a car. Button has demonstrated over the years that he can’t seem to contribute much in that respect.

    Button is a good driver to have around to accompany a top driver who can fight for the championship with more of a “do or die” type approach. Button can then quietly bring home the points to fill in the WCC. I feel that’s more his thing.

  8. Regardless of whether Jenson Button is that fast, he is very much liked and quite a team player. There was no in-fighting with Lewis, although there were a few ‘what is he doing!’ moments where Jenson made Lewis look a tad immature.

    These qualities – likeable celebrity personality – should be valuable to sponsors as per the ‘Santander’ and ‘Vodafone’ days, however, McLaren don’t really have sponsors these days. Does anyone know how well Jessica Ennis did in whatever event she entered last? No, we just know she is an Olympic champion. Similarly with the Button brand, most people have no idea where he is in the WDC but they do know he is an F1 driver. Therefore his value for sponsors and therefore the team goes far beyond his current ability. Until his team-mate gets a few race wins under his belt to make headlines on normal news Jenson is ‘the man’.

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