Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Button stays at McLaren but says: to win we need a clear number 1 in the team

SUZUKA - Another Formula 1 weekend, this time in Japan. And other years with our favourite driver (here in the photo winning in Hungary : we'll go there next year, a bit tired of Monza, I know it too well and the fans are too crazy here, too much confusion).
Jenson Button has signed a new multi-year contract to stay at McLaren after several months of negotiations.
There was little doubt that Button would remain at the team next year, but the question was whether he would sign to stay at the team beyond 2012 or leave his options open. However, today McLaren confirmed that Button will stay put on a new multi-year contract.
But Jenson says the best way to win the World Championship is to have a clear number one driver in the team.
"The best way for a team to win the World Championship would be probably to have a No 1 driver, and a No 2 driver who is happy to be a No 2. We do not have this at McLaren. If I cannot win then I am pleased if he wins. I'm like 'Wow, he has really done a good job'. On the other hand it will be exactly the same because we drive for the same team. A victory is always good for the mood in the team."
"I've never felt more at home at a team than I do at McLaren," Button said. "I've won four of the greatest races of my life here, I'm currently lying second in the drivers' world championship, and I feel that I'm driving better than ever.
"You can only achieve that with the right level of support - and I truly believe that the passion and determination to win are stronger here at McLaren than anywhere else.
"As a grand prix driver, those are incredibly powerful feelings to share and be part of, and they've only reinforced my desire to commit my long-term future to this team. I've made no secret of my ambition to continue winning races and world championships, and I fully believe this is the place where I can achieve those aims.
"We at McLaren know how to win, and we're busy refining an organisation that will enable us to keep on doing that for years to come."
Although exact details of the contract length have not been revealed, team principal Martin Whitmarsh said Button is one half of "the best driver line-up in all of Formula One" alongside Lewis Hamilton and that he was delighted to secure his services.
"Jenson is a great driver and a great guy," Whitmarsh said. "In fact, I can safely say that he's one of the most capable and respected drivers we've ever had, and I'm therefore absolutely delighted that he'll continue to work with us into the future. He's a considerable credit to this organisation, and I'm proud to be his team principal.
"I feel sure that he'll now build on the considerable success he's already achieved with us, and will be even more successful with us in years to come. I think he and Lewis say it better than anyone. Their comments show just how much they respect and trust each other, and they once again continue to prove what we as a team have always known: that McLaren has the very best driver line-up in all of Formula One."
Hamilton also welcomed the deal: "It's great news that Jenson has chosen to stay with McLaren," he said. "Jenson has been a great person to work with, and a genuine team-player, from the moment we welcomed him on board. McLaren is a team with a unique and successful tradition in Formula One, which I'm proud to be part of.
"It was the best moment of my career when I won the drivers' world championship with this team. Jenson and I are as hungry and as ambitious as ever to win races and world championships in the future."
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