McLaren CEO Ron Dennis confirmed Button had accepted a new two-year deal to stay at the team.
“I think we both agree that more than one year is a must,” said Button. “This is a new project and an exciting project, to be part of the legendary partnership of McLaren and Honda is not a one-year thing.”
“I’m very much looking forward to more than one year. I know we can’t really talk about the contract as such in detail but it’s not something I’m just here to be around for one year for.
“I’m here to compete, I’m here to fight for the world championship. Whether that’s in 2015 or not maybe it won’t be maybe it’ll be in future years, but I’m hopefully here for the long term.”
Button’s position at the team had been in doubt for several weeks, and Dennis said Button’s new deal comes with string attached.
“Jenson has his own hurdles to jump,” said Dennis, “some of which have been quite deliberately put in front of him from the perspective of assisting with the decision which of course I fully recognise has been quite a long time in coming.”
Dennis added he made “no apologies” for the time taken to announce their drivers for next season.
“We were faced with a remote possibility that we could overtake Ferrari in the constructors’ [championship] and I didn’t want to destabilise the last two races,” he explained. “We had a very important aero test that took place on the Saturday of Abu Dhabi, and I didn’t want to destabilise that test by having one driver motivated and one driver demotivated.”
“Then on the Tuesday following the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix there was a Formula One Commission meeting and on the agenda were two or three things that had relevance to the decision-making process.
“As is widely known now there are some teams – including McLaren – that have an obligation to run three cars if the world championship grid falls below 16 cars. So I was balancing the possibility of that happening.”
2015 F1 season
- How a secret Mercedes engine mode helped pressure Vettel into a race-ending puncture
- Over 100 driver penalties issued in record-breaking 2015
- Part-time racer? The facts of Hamilton’s ‘jet-set lifestyle’
- The Complete F1 Fanatic 2015 season review
- Your favourite – and least favourite – F1 races of 2015