Sep.9 (GMM/Inautonews.com) Jenson Button will still be a McLaren driver in 2012, team boss Martin Whitmarsh said on Friday.
Confirmation of the deal, however, is overdue, with the 31-year-old’s management pushing McLaren to simply trigger the option in his existing contract.
It is believed that McLaren on the other hand would like Button to commit now to a longer term deal, so that he is not available for the 2013 season when seats at Ferrari and Red Bull will open up.
Whitmarsh said at Monza: “Jenson will be here next year. We know that, he knows that.
“There’s nothing complicated about it. But we’re looking to do a deal that will see him race for McLaren for the rest of his career,” the Telegraph quotes him as saying.
“That may be for the next three years or the next five years. Who knows.”
Whitmarsh suggested Button could be involved at McLaren even beyond his racing days.
“He could take on an ambassador’s role. We’re looking into GT racing and Le Mans and there’s no reason why he can’t use his experience in those projects.”