WOKING, England – official team release — McLaren photo —
Despite retirement rumors, McLaren-Honda has confirmed that 2009 Formula One World Champion Jenson Button will remain with the team for the 2016 season.
“Over the past month or so I have done quite a lot of thinking, and it is no secret that I was at one point in two minds about my future,” said Button. “But I have been a McLaren driver for six seasons now [2010-2015], and in that time I have got to know Ron (Dennis, McLaren chairman and CEO) very well. He and I have had some very good chats these past few weeks, and during those chats it has become clear to me that Ron is both utterly determined and uniquely equipped to lead our team through its current difficulties to great successes in the future. That gives me great confidence, and it is for that reason that, together, he and I have decided to continue our partnership; and, as soon as I had made that decision, straight away I realized it was the correct one.
“OK, granted, this year has not been an easy one for us, but we know what we need to do to improve things and, in collaboration with Honda, we will work extremely hard over the next weeks and months in order to make sure that 2016 will be a much better season than 2015 has been.”
Button joined McLaren in 2010 after his championship season at Brawn GP in 2009. He has 15 career Formula One victories, including eight victories since joining McLaren.
“Jenson and I have been discussing his plans in private for the past few weeks, and the fact that our talks have led to today’s announcement is very pleasing to both of us and will delight and motivate all at McLaren-Honda,” said Dennis. “As I have made clear whenever I have been asked about the subject, Jenson’s current contract is of two years duration [2015 and 2016]. There is a ‘terminate after year one’ option that McLaren could have triggered if we had wished to do so, but, once it became clear from my many conversations with Jenson that he remained as enthusiastic and as committed and as focused as ever, that option immediately became an irrelevance. That being the case, Jenson will race for McLaren-Honda next year, under the terms and conditions as set out in the two-year contract that both parties entered into a year ago.”
CREDIT: McLaren-Honda F1 Team