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Formula One: Jenson Button cryptic on Mclaren future

Button has said previously that he wanted to stay at McLaren, who have been closely linked to Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso.

By: Reuters | Sao Paulo |
Updated: November 8, 2014 8:38:45 am

Jenson Button has indicated he might not stay at McLaren even if the Formula One team offered him a contract extension for next season. With speculation swirling about his future, and reports already suggesting the 2009 world champion is set to retire, Button said no decision had been made but he had plenty of options.

He added that it made little difference whether the decision came before the end of the season or not, and was clear that he did not want to stay in Formula One if there was no chance to win races.

The 34-year-old has said previously that he wanted to stay at McLaren, who have been closely linked to Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso and are starting a new partnership with Honda, if the chance was there. But he appeared to signal a shift on Thursday when talking to reporters at the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Asked whether he would stay if McLaren asked him to, after all the uncertainty, the Briton said: “That is a good question that I cannot answer at this moment in time. “When you are put in a position that many drivers have been in over the years, not sure if your contract is going to be renewed, it opens your eyes to different challenges and different possibilities.

“Whether it’s racing, whether it’s doing another sport, or something different altogether, for me I am excited about the challenges ahead. I have a lot that I am excited about, a lot of different ideas, whether it is for next year or the year after.” Button, who won his 2009 title at Interlagos, is the most experienced driver on the grid and has won 16 races since his debut in 2000 with Williams. Whatever happened, he said he was not about to retire or disappear from motor sport. “This is a massive part of my life, Formula One, and motor racing has been — and it is not going to stop. It will continue,” he said.

Support for button

Lewis Hamilton says McLaren would be making a mistake to ditch his former team mate Jenson Button at the end of the Formula One season and should focus instead on building a better car.

“He’s still got plenty of time in his capability as a driver to keep racing and winning,” the Mercedes driver told reporters at the Brazilian Grand Prix. “He just needs to be given a better car. It’s not the team need a better driver,” added the championship leader.

McLaren have not won a race since Button’s last victory in Brazil two years ago and are believed to be close to signing Fernando Alonso from Ferrari for 2015, when they start a new partnership with Honda. The Spaniard’s arrival is likely to signal the end of 2009 champion Button’s Formula One career, although Alonso was also supportive of the Briton.

Marussia shuts shop, 200 lose job

Sao Paulo: British based Marussia Formula One team has folded with about 200 staff losing their jobs, administrators said in a statement on Friday. FRP Advisory said the heavily-indebted team, who had been struggling for some time to stay afloat, had no sustainable operational or financial structure in place to maintain the Group as a going concern. “The joint administrators have now ceased trading Marussia F1 Team and unfortunately have had to make the remaining staff redundant,” it said.

The staff were told in a long and emotional meeting just after midday on Friday. Ferrari-powered Marussia went into administration last month and missed last weekend’s US Grand Prix in Texas and this week’s in Brazil. Fellow strugglers Caterham are also in administration and seeking a buyer. (Reuters)

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