Jun.29 (GMM/Inautonews.com) Jenson Button says Honda is “committed” to McLaren and formula one.

The nightmarish extent of the Japanese carmaker’s return to F1 this year was unexpected, but McLaren driver Button says Honda remains focused on the project.

“Honda are massively committed,” said the 2009 world champion.

That is despite the fact the Honda Motor Co has a brand new CEO in the form of Takahiro Hachigo, after his predecessor departed amid an airbag recall scandal.

Button met Hachigo for the first time at the Austrian grand prix.

“The new CEO is a true racer, which is great,” he said. “They’re definitely in for the long haul.”

Former McLaren driver John Watson, however, fears Button may not similarly be at McLaren-Honda ‘for the long haul’.

The 35-year-old, who has only a one-year contract, could be “the victim of saving face” at the end of a dismal return season to F1, Watson told the Daily Mail.

“Loss of face is the most significant part of the Japanese psyche and they will probably want change, bringing in one of the younger drivers, Kevin Magnussen or Stoffel Vandoorne,” predicted Watson.

What is for sure is that Fernando Alonso is staying the course.

“I hope to put some new trophies here,” said the Spaniard, as he opened his new kart track and museum in his native Asturias.

“They will come and I will bring them here myself, if not this year then next year,” Alonso is quoted by EFE news agency.