Oct.9 (GMM/Inautonews.com) The delay in Jenson Button’s contract extension beyond next year was due in part to the interest expressed by Ferrari.
That is the claim of O Estado de S.Paulo newspaper, reporting that the famous Maranello team considered the 2009 world champion a potential new teammate for Fernando Alonso in 2013.
“I think it’s important for drivers to look at all their options,” confirmed Button.
But for now and for the next couple of years, he will definitely be a McLaren driver.
“And I am staying not for the money but because this is where I believe I will have the best chance of becoming world champion again,” added the 31-year-old.
And that is also why he joined McLaren from Brawn at the end of his championship season, despite the fact the Brackley based team was set to become the works Mercedes team.
“I knew the team (Mercedes) would have a difficult season in 2010. We wouldn’t have the advantage of the double diffuser and in the second half of 2009 we lost pace and we didn’t develop the car because of a lack of resources.
“But I did think that after 2010 things would be better for them, but they are not,” added Button.
For many in the F1 paddock, Button has been the outstanding performer of the season, a decade after he was written off by his then Benetton boss Flavio Briatore.
At Monaco in 2001, Briatore dismissed the Briton as a driver who “has suddenly made a lot of money and only thinks now about enjoying life. Right now, he is on his boat rather than being here, working.”
At Suzuka 2011, Button replied: “It’s true. I was very young, inexperienced and I started to enjoy the other things that opened up around me.
“It’s also not easy being one of Flavio’s drivers,” he smiled, “especially when you are young.
“A lot has changed since 2001. I’ve learned a lot. You can see that from what I’ve done this year, yeah?”