Mercedes or McLaren? Button’s decision

Posted on Author Keith Collantine

Either Mercedes or McLaren will have the coveted number one next year
Either Mercedes or McLaren will have the coveted number one next year

Depending on who you believe, Jenson Button may already have signed for McLaren.

But many people thought the same about Kimi Raikkonen a few weeks ago. And it’s hard to believe Button would voluntarily leave the team that made him champion after sticking by them for so long. Which team will he pick for 2010?

Mercedes Grand Prix

Button voluntarily took a substantial pay cut earlier this year when Brawn had to lay off some staff to save money.

He believes his new world champion status means his salary should go up again. And with the long-term future of the team formerly known as Brawn secured, they should be able to afford it.

But Mercedes know that if they are to stick to the cost reduction proposal agreed with the FIA they need to keep their spending down. And driver salaries is one of the biggest expenses to cut.

So, while some have pointed to Mercedes’ apparent desire to have a German driver in the team, that isn’t necessarily the only reason why a deal with Button hasn’t been done yet.

Nor is it certain they are after two German drivers. After all, apart from Adrian Sutil (who drove for a Mercedes customer team this year) they haven’t been associated with a German racing driver in F1 since 1994.


However if Button does choose McLaren – who are apparently offering more money – no-one could accuse him of taking the soft option. Going up against Lewis Hamilton in the team he has made his own will be ferociously difficult.

Talk of the Hamilton situation at McLaren always provokes fierce debate as we all remember how Fernando Alonso stormed out of the team after a single season.

And Heikki Kovalainen, who looks likely to leave the team whether or not Button comes in, complained Hamilton got preference on new parts put on the car. That may simply be because Hamilton’s proved himself the better driver. But McLaren would have a hard time justifying a similar situation if it had Britain’s two most recent world champions as its drivers.

Differences between Button and Hamilton’s driving styles will be another problem. Hamilton is known to prefer an oversteering car; Button thrives on an understeer-biased set-up. Work on the MP4/25 has already begun and decisions that affect the fundamental balance of the car will already have been taken. Such as weight distribution, which will be especially crucial with larger fuel tanks and narrower front tyres next year.

None of this is to say McLaren is an unattractive option – the team have brilliant facilities and a track record of building great cars and quickly rectifying poor ones. But it’s not an easy option.

The decision

To say Button’s choice is a diffiicult one is a serious understatement. And it’s an unusual one for a newly-crowned champion to face. Yes, Alonso left Renault after winning the 2006 title for them, but that decision had been made the previous winter.

Appropriately, it’s a pair of British drivers that have the most recent experience of this dilemma: Damon Hill in 1996, leaving Williams for Arrows, and Nigel Mansell in 1992, who also left Williams – and F1 entirely – to race in CART.

Champions usually prefer stability, and that’s what many of Britain’s elder F1 statesmen have urged Button to pick. If he does go to McLaren to take on Hamilton, many will conclude he only did so because the Mercedes option was unworkable.

Where do you think Button should go in 2010? And where do you think he will end up? Have your say below.

Read more: Mercedes Grand Prix take over Brawn for 2010 ?ǣ but what about Jenson Button?

84 comments on “Mercedes or McLaren? Button’s decision”

  1. Button should stay at Brawn/Mercedes. But I think he will go to McLaren.

    Unfortunately for Jenson, going to Woking means that he will be #2 to Hamilton in every sense, except that it’ll say #1 on his car …. for one season only.

    I fear we are seeing the next Kimi….wins one title, then follows the money for the rest of his career.

    1. I have to disagree Red Andy. Don’t you think that after being loyal to the team and taking a massive pay cut for 09, followed by bringing home the WDC and helping towards the WCC, Button deserves more than the 4.5m or so Mercedes Brawn are offering him? The guy just wants a suitable wage and some sort of return for his loyalty and personal financial sacrifice. I think that’s fair enough.

      1. I’m not so sure. There were many questioning Button by the end of the season and that will have brought his value down. Not only that but it’s still very tough financial times so I think that huge sums of money aren’t going to impress the teams-probably why Kimi’s deals have taken so long and the Finn is generally rated higher than Button.
        Jense should just go with the best deal, forgetting money but about the team. He wants to feel more valued and I can understand the tactics but in the end it should always come down to the best package and not money.

      2. Jenson may have taken a “massive” pay cut but the guy is still earning millions, I bet all the people who lost their jobs after Honda pulled out weren’t earning millions before they were made redundant to save costs.

        Button should stay with Mercedes because he will be the number one driver in a winning team AND he can still earn millions. There’s not much you can do with £6m that you can’t do with £4m.

        1. K, look at mercedes they are pretty fixed on having rosberg being german and all, so if button ends up at mercedes he could play 2nd driver, despite being WDC. so button faces a problem of which team is likely to provide a car more suited to him, which would be mercedes, there car being based on the BGP001 chassis

        2. While I agree that Button wouldn’t struggle financially if he accepted what Brawn offered, you can’t blame him for trying to get what he thinks is market value for the current World Champion especially when he took a pay cut to save the team before the season.

        3. If you look at what Button got paid last season compared to many other drives he was underpaid.

      3. well said, he did help Brawn and his team to be a viable option for a buy out by Merc, and increased Brawns wallet, so it’s only fair the world champ wants his pre-good will gesture wage back.

        One thing to note from the above article, is in relation to cost cutting…the drivers wages aren’t include in the cost cutting ‘cap’.

    2. couldn’t agree with you more red andy

  2. I hope he does go to McLaren. It’s refreshing to see a driver challenge himself, especially when he has already won a title. Granted, he will be getting himself more money, but he is putting his reputation and championship credibility on the line by taking on Hamilton in equal machinery.

    It was frustrating to see the likes of Schumacher and Alonso demand #1 status and subservient/poor quality teammates.

    As for driving styles, Prost and Senna were different. Similar to Button/Hamilton, but McLaren made it work (when they weren’t taking each other out!). Were the cars easier to set up to opposing styles back then?

  3. I think he should go to Mercedes and I think he will end up there.
    Prisoner Monkeys found a report that they are offering similar money to Mclaren now and meeting Button’s demands. Button may have a chance at being number 1 in the Mercedes team but it’ll be a lot tougher at Mclaren.
    I also want to see Kimi at Mclaren. I’ve been dreaming of the pantomine and epic Ferrari Felipe Fernando vs Mclaren Lewis Kimi for so long (and young star Seb in RBR)that I’ll be very upset if it doesn’t happen.

  4. The Honda driver has torn up his £24m three-year deal, accepting £9m instead to help out the troubled team.

    He also agreed to pay the travel and hotel costs incurred by himself and his entourage which could well exceed £250,000 over the course of the 17-race season.

    If he has 9 million an only pays £250,000 for his entourage thats still £8,750,000. That’s still a mighty amount of money in anyone’s language.

    Jenson should stay. He could build on this season’s success and maybe do a Schumacher and win several titles. All driver wages will come down with the cost cutting that will is suppposed to happen over the next few years anyway.

    Then again, we don’t really know what is happening behing the scenes in Brackley.

    I’ll be looking forward to a great season regardless of who ends up where, as I don’t follow any one team or driver. I just like the racing.

    1. I think if driver salaries do come down in the coming years it will be more down to the economic climate than the cost cutting, as driver salaries are one of the items not included in the cost cutting measures, unless they try to change the proposals.

      Teams may give cost cutting as a reason for offering lower salaries to drivers, but the top drivers are always likely to command big sums if the teams have the ability to pay them.

      It could even be argued that if the cost cutting measures mean that a top team spends say £100m less per season but their income is still the same they would be tempted to spend more on getting the best possible drivers. That has been the problem with trying to limit spending in one particular area, the teams will just divert their resources to wherever else they think they can make a difference.

  5. In a way I hope he ends up at McLaren. Everyone will then see what I have been saying all year, i.e. that he is nothing more than a mediocre driver and nowhere near the level of the F1 elite (Kimi, Lewis, Alonso, Kubica and soon to include Vettel). It can’t be much fun following Lewis to the finish line in every race.

    Brawn of course knew this (Button’s ability level) all along, which is why they offered him a reduced salary in order to retain the sheet and will absolutely not offer him a penny more than what’s already on the table. If he were a true top-level driver, there would be more money offered and a higher sense of urgency to get him re-signed.

    He is a mediocre driver and the seat he is about to get fits him perfectly: 2nd fiddle to a real top-level F1 driver.

    1. Hmm, you put it better than I could have. Well anyway, he should stay at Merc, but maybe that’s not his choice. If he goes to Mclaren, Hamilton will show everyone why people should have forgotten about Button by now. Personally, I don’t think he’s gonna be in either of those teams. If Mclaren seriously think he’ll be a better investment than Kimi they’re out of their minds.

    2. Well whoever you think is the elite as there is room for debate, it will be tough for Jense to keep his crown

      1. or score another one

    3. with Lewis and Alonso I agree they are in the top tier of F1 drivers. why is Kimi considered elite and not Massa, what more Massa has to do to be considered as one?

      By what measure do you include Kubica in that list? He had average 2007 season, a good 2008 season and average 2009.

      About Vettel, we havent seen him win a race in which his car was miles faster than opposition.

      There are only two drivers that stand out form the crowd in F1, Lewis and Alonso.

  6. Should: Mercedes
    Will: McLaren

    I can hear the whiners already, but let’s face facts: Hamilton would never need to be favoured to beat Button over the course of a season in equal machinery.

    Yet Button is good enough to beat Hamilton’s rivals with him or without him. If Button goes to McLaren, I predict he won’t win the WDC, but Hamilton might have an easier time than if Raikkonen got the seat (because either Kimi would match him, or continue in Kovalainen’s mould and do Lewis few favours in taking points off of competitors), and McLaren will be very strong for the WCC.

  7. Now when i think on Button I remember Judas….
    And not less important, he’s digging his own grave….well with Nr 1 written on it ;-)

    1. Terry Fabulous
      17th November 2009, 21:46

      How is he Judas mate? He hasn’t exactly betrayed his saviour Ross Brawn?

      I would describe more as being mercenary but that is a title you could give most professional sportsmen these days.

  8. If Jenson wants to be the #1 driver, stay at Brawn/Mercedes. If he wants to be the #2 driver, go to Mclaren.

  9. hamilton will probably beat him every race.

    1. Not if Hamilton can’t stop wearing his tyres out every 10 laps. Jenson is possibly the most suited driver for slowing tyre wear down since he drives so smoothly.

      1. when did hamilton do that? hamilton is good with his tyres i.e. hungary.

        lets not forget buttons “oh my god, how did this car get so bad” for the majority of the mid season, because he couldnt heat his tyres while barrichello could.

        1. Hamilton is known for mashing up rear tyres – but something he has improved on this year.

          Don’t underestimate the fuel issue though in relation to tyre wear – it is a massive factor and will definitely be in Jenson’s mind when he joins McLaren… he might just have a slight chance against Hamilton.

          1. oh yer dont get me wrong he has improved doing so but this year will make it even harder to maintain tyres and hamilton isnt the best to maintain tyres and 1 race out of how many doesn’t proove he has improved tenfold on tyreware. The “every ten laps” was a slight mislead, he is probably off by 3-4 laps to other drivers who are really good with tyres depending how bad he treats the tyres. this year it wont matter how good the car is if the driver cant stop locking his brakes which im sure Hamilton does do abit because he is an aggrssive style driver. 2010 is looking to suit jenson alot more then 2009, since i reckon he could outlast everyone with tyres. Lewis i feel will just keep shooting himself in the foot next year, with having to go 80% of his actual driving skill because he doesnt have pitstop fueling to help him get out infont. Lewis IMO will get in the top 4 again only because the mclaren should be a decent car and helping lewis out mostly with points, but we will see.

            It’s just when tyreware comes involved Lewis isn’t my top pick thats all i just think, even vettel is better at tyre ware then he is IMO.

        2. Hamilton does have a reputation for being harder than average on his tyres, although he has improved that this year. For example I believe that one of the reasons he used a three stop strategy at Turkey 2008 was due to tyre wear.

          But in recent years McLaren have also been seen to be harder on their tyres than Ferrari, one of the side affects of being able to warm the tyres up quickly.

          While I think Hamilton will be able to beat Button if they are teammates, the issue of managing the tyres with heavy cars due to no refuelling next season should be an advantage for Button.

  10. HounslowBusGarage
    17th November 2009, 21:15

    I think it would be a fundamental marketing mistake to have two British drivers in a British team as it alienates non-British supporters and sponsors from MacLaren. The same would be true for two German drivers in a German team (Merc).
    It all becomes too nationalistic with USF1 and Force India on the grid as well.
    If this comes about, how will French, Irish, Portugese and myriad other nationalities relate to Formula 1? They won’t, and the sponsors will recognise this and withdraw.

  11. Mercedes or McLaren? Button’s decision

    I don’t really believe that he can now choose between Mercedes and McLaren, because McLaren’s aim is to get best drivers to their team and it’s very odd if Button is now in the top of their ‘most wanted drivers list’. We all know that Button won championship this year, but the fact is that he did it because BrawnGP had so perfect car. He is more mediocre than a driver who can really deliver from race to race.

    I believe that Kimi Raikkonen’s comeback to team McLaren will come true. And with a line-up Hamilton-Raikkonen, McLaren will be ultimately the best team next season.

  12. bobo_the_legend
    17th November 2009, 21:35

    i would like to see jenson at mclaren but as avery 1 nos its lewis’s team the car is built around him. if jenson does sign for mclaren i dont think he will fit in and wont have a chance of defending his world title which will go to lewis next year in my opinion if they have a good car and dont get the penaltes.

  13. holy ****, Kimi retires. His manager said to finnish news paper Turun Sanomat that Kimi will not drive next year in F1.. so sad. I can’t believe this..:(

  14. The Brawn double diffuser was the main reason for Jenson’s early points advantage. It is unlikely to happen again next season that one or two teams will build a world-beating car due to rule interpretation.
    The understeer/oversteer preferences of JB & LH may favour Button as front tyres will be narrower and high cornering speed will mean greater slip-angles, but I feel Lewis will have an advantage over Jenson if he joins Mclaren.
    Give Mercedes another season Jenson, you never know what their obsession to win will produce.

    1. the understeer oversteer isue is managed by how the team sets up the weight distribution, mclaren have alredy started building the mp4-25 wich is pretty much built around ham after this year

  15. This could all be a huge bluff on account of Jenson and Fry to get the Brawn team maximum publicity for the least amount of money.

    The starting stories don’t get them money but the amount of exposure they are currently getting is swamping F1 sites, and dominating the non F1 news.

  16. Bluff or not when a team like McLaren or Ferrari show an interest in a driver you’d be crazy not to grab the opportunity while it’s there. No matter what happens with Hamilton, Button is closer to the end of his career than the beginning. I’m sure he’d regret not taking the opportunity to drive for the house that Ron built.

    1. versus driving a machine thats built in Brawn garage?

      I’d take my chances with Ross.

      When Ross Brawn offers you to build a machine, you take it.

  17. Should stay with Brawn, will probably end up at McLaren.

    I don’t believe Lewis will wipe the floor with him, but that’s not to say he is faster than Lewis, just that Lewis will be kept honest.

    It’s like Senna(3xWDC) and Prost(4xWDC) in 1988/89… the driving styles are very similar, Ham/Sen & But/Pro, Prost won it in 1989 don’t forget… and the fuel loads should suit Button’s style more than Hamiltons…

    Will definitely be an interesting one to watch.

  18. I know I am an old romantic but his decision should be made based purely on sport and doing the right thing, not money.
    that means staying at Brawn. But I cant help but fear that his relationship with fry and Brawn will have been damaged now after these endless discussions and Button wanting more. Doesn’t he want to stay with a team that gave him the world title – his dream since he was a boy?

    I don’t think button is mediocre, as others have suggested, but Lewis is just unbelievably quick plus he has that team around him and has stability. its highly unlikely he can finish the season in front of Lewis. Button might not care about that, he might just want to go somewhere he is wanted now.

    (as an aside I dont think Kimi and Lewis get on, but please correct me if I am wrong – though it didn’t stop Prost and Senna).

    1. Button is owed more money. Yes, they are all very big sums, but it’s all relative.

      Fry’s comments on Jenson’s offer seem strange, seen as Rosberg earnt $8,5m last season compared to Button’s $5m.

      It can only be that Mercedes are hell bent on 2 German drivers, or one Button at no extra cost.

      It’s insulting for a World champion in my opinion, and I wouldn’t begrudge Jenson for going to McLaren at all.


    It says Kimi’s manager has confirmed the negotiations with Mclaren have ended with no result and that Kimi won’t be driving in F1 in 2010

    Cant confirm with translation, but they were giving to me by a finnish friend. So…..

    1. That is awful news

  20. Button’s smooth driving style and canny race skills,(he very rarely breaks cars or gets taken out in crashes) coupled with large fuel loads and longer tyre usage could add up to a second WDC at either Maclarren or Mercedes.

    1. hamilton had 2 retirements in his first two seasons, look past this year before you say things. i dont know buttons retirement score over 07 and 08 but i suspect they were heigher,

      Hamilton didnt break his car at abu dhabi it was a brake problem, its like saying massa broke his car at Hungary 08, he didnt! the car failed. same for hamilton

  21. Re: Spud: I thought Jenson was on £4M this past year and wanted to go back to £8M?

    What I don’t understand either, is that apparently Brawn have offered him the £8M he asked for, but then the Guardian reported he is going to McLaren for £6M. So you can’t really say he’s chasing the money if that were the case.

    As a Kimi fan, all I can say is I hope he stays at Brawn (which would be the best option for him anyway imo) and McLaren sort things out with Kimi.

  22. I think that Button should stay at Brawn/Mercedes. He already knows and is familiar with Brawn and there are going to be unexpected changes, both with the car and management, that are going to take some time to get used to. Even with a fair amount of testing, it could take several races to get comfortable with the car and the team. In a worst case scenario, Hamilton could already be more than 20 points ahead by then.

    Whether official or not, he is going to be the number two driver at McLaren. Let’s face it, if you only have one new front wing on race day, are you going to give it to Hamilton or Button? At Mercedes, he isn’t going to be partnered with anyone he can’t beat.

    Also, the car is likely to be built around Hamilton’s driving style, which, as has already pointed out, is the complete opposite of Button’s. Hopefully it can be made to work, otherwise I fear a year of Button driving around in 6th screaming ‘no grip!’ over the radio while the boy from Stevenage vanishes into the distance.

  23. Now that the team has become Mercedes, I have no doubt that the team will continue being a top team in the future. I think Button should stay at Mercedes, despite the lower salary. He is going to be beaten by Hamilton, however good on him if he’s teaming up with him to see whether he actually is one of the top drivers in F1.
    If he is just going because of the money, well hmm.. This is the guy who said many times before that he’d trade all his money for a competitive car. Yes I know that McLaren produces some of the best cars, but if he really wants to win the title and not have his confidence shattered then he should stay at Mercedes. If he does well again Alonso, Massa, Vettel and Hamilton, then I have no doubt that Merc will increase his salary.

    I stil can’t believe that McLaren would choose Button over Raikkonen though.. I seriously doubt McLaren really believe that Button is better than Kimi, otherwise they’d have hired Button alongside Kimi or even replaced Kimi whenever they had the chance to, (2005 when Montoya joined.. that could have been Button instead or end of 2006 when there was a free seat available..)

  24. I am feeling disappointed with how things have turned out. I knew Merc were planning to invest heavily in Brawn, but I didn’t foresee that they would take over and rebrand in their name and that has been a bit of a shock.

    I have enjoyed the 2009 season so much; seeing my favourite driver finally get a race winning car, and seeing a British independent team winning both titles. I’ve followed F1 for a long time and have always been someone who supports drivers rather than teams but this year with Brawn I really felt there was a team I could get behind too – something about their spirit really captured my heart. Now the new Mercedes will just be another manufacturer team to me and I don’t see myself supporting them. I was looking forward to 2010 as another year of seeing ‘my driver’ with ‘my team’, regardless of whether or not they managed to repeat any of their 09 success.

    Two days ago I would have said without doubt that Button should stay at Brawn. Aside from wanting to see my favourite driver stay with my favourite team (and preferring not to see him in a McLaren, who I have an irrational dislike of), I am capable of being objective about the situation and I thought that Brawn would offer JB the environment that would allow him to perform at his best. I also thought that Button staying with a team he has a long history with would be better for him than trying to take on Hamilton who is so well established with McLaren. On the other side of things, before the Mercedes announcement I thought that McLaren were perhaps in the better position to produce a race winning car for 2010. But, with the relative pace of the cars being an unknown until they turn up in Bahrain in March (yes we get some idea from pre-season testing but never the full picture) and all other things being equal, I felt that JB staying with Brawn was most definitely the sensible option.

    The new situation, post Merc takeover, I am less sure about. With the limited official information there is (although large amount of rumour and speculation abound to confuse things) I don’t see one of Button’s options as having a clear cut advantage over the other. There are lots of what ifs (to quote Murray, if is F1 spelled backwards) which if they prove to be true will make a difference. If Merc are going to push for a German driver to be their number 1, Button is better off out, but if they aren’t then he might be better staying put – and that’s just one example. Trying to ignore all the rumours, which is difficult, I am still seeing JB staying with Brawn/Mercedes as being the slightly better option.

    I honestly don’t think this is about the money. I think that is just one part of the negotiations that has been blown out of all proportion by the British press. There are a lot of other subtle contract nuances that most of us have no idea about and I am sure Button is more concerned with trying to work out which team will give him the most chance of success.

    To those people who believe that if Button does go to McLaren he will be annihilated by Hamilton, I am not so sure. I do think that the team already being set up around Hamilton might be an issue, but that overall they will be surprisingly (for some) evenly matched. If it does happen, I see Hamilton qualifying better, them being fairly equal on race performance, and Button making less mistakes.

    Really I just wish there would just be an announcement to put me out of my misery, I am constantly refreshing pages on all my favourite F1 sites just to see if there is any news! I am sure I am not the only one.

  25. There are only words which need to be said to explain why Jenson Button would be mad to go to McLaren:

    Lewis Hamilton

    1. Maybe he likes a challenge? I like it – it would prove he had balls, even if they do take a pounding.

      1. elequent and astute

    2. Well, Button is the current world champion. And that title suggests that you are the best. And to be the best you have to beat the best. He’s risking his reputation going up against Lewis, but what’s life without risks?

  26. I don’t care where Button goes as long as it’s not at McLaren.

    1. Thank You for saying that

  27. Who is being greed here?

    Why are people criticising Jenson Button for wanting more money?

    Has Ross Brawn not just banked tens of millions of pounds in return fr his ONE EURO/POUND investment to buy the old Honda/BAR/Tyrell team?

    Nice profit for Ross, if he really want to keep Jenson he could put hi hand in his pocket. Jenson effectively did that for you and, without him and Honda funding, you would not have sold the team to Mercedes.

  28. I think he should stay with Mercedes but it’s looking inevitable he’ll go to McLaren. I think going to McLaren would be a mistake for Button as it’s very much Hamilton’s team and I don’t think it’s any coincidence that Alonso and Kovalainen have both come out and talked about Hamilton getting preferential treatment over strategy and new parts. I agree with others that it would be nice to see Button take on Hamilton in equal machinery and it would be closer than a lot of people think but the contrast in driving styles will make setting up the car and as we saw this year car set-up isn’t Button’s strong point.

  29. I think he should stay with Mercedes but it’s looking inevitable he’ll go to McLaren. I think going to McLaren would be a mistake for Button as it’s very much Hamilton’s team and I don’t think it’s any coincidence that Alonso and Kovalainen have both come out and talked about Hamilton getting preferential treatment over strategy and new parts. I agree with others that it would be nice to see Button take on Hamilton in equal machinery and it would be closer than a lot of people think but the contrast in driving styles will make it difficult for the team in terms of setting up the car and as we saw this year car set-up isn’t Button’s strong point.

  30. Jenson should drive for MERCEDES even if he makes less money.
    Its still a good day at the office, and a chance at winning the WDC.

  31. Lewis belongs at McLaren. Jenson does not. Go away Jenson.

    1. ha ha, go away ha!

  32. Isn’t it funny how we will have 2 british world champions in a british world-championship winning team, but we might not have a British GP?

    I’m not a brit but I thought I should just point that out.

  33. I love Button, probably because he was always the underdog, but I’m worried that Hamilton is the better driver and partnering him could ruin Button’s reputation.

  34. Going to Mclaren will signal the end of Jenson Button’s career. In less than half a season, everyone will find out that he is a mediocre driver who lucked into the 2009 championship thanks to a superior car and an inferior team-mate.

    Ross Brawn has got rid of both his mediocre drivers, smart ploy.

    First Kimi dug up his own grave. Now Button is doing the same.

  35. My choice is
    Mclaren-Hamilton & Raikkonen.
    Mercedes-Button & Roseberg.

    It will be hard for Button on what he choose because he would like to have more money on the other hand it won’t be a good idea to pair him up with Hamilton.

  36. Button got 2009 title, but he couln’t convince some F1 fan that he is as fast as other champions such as Raikonen, Hamilton,Alonso.
    Moving to Maclaren is a big chance that he can prove that he is as competitive as Hamilton.
    The only thing Button need at the moment is not money, not next title, but the fact that he can defeat competitive dreiver like Hamilton with same car as a teammate.
    So I think Maclaren choice will be good one(I doubt that he can beat Hamilton though)

  37. Do you think Button will be #1 in Mercedes? I thought Mercedes prefer Rosberg as #1

    1. “Defeated by Hamilton is better than defeated by Rosberg”
      That would be a reason why Button choose Macrlaren.
      It will never become apparent that world champion Button is actually slower than Rosbrg who have never won race before.

      At any rate, time will tell who’s the best.

  38. i think the most interesting angle is not who Button should choose – but why McLaren are so keen on getting Button?

    I always thought that McLaren wanted/needed to have the best available drivers. Now understanding that best is subjective – i will assume that for f1, best = fastest. Given this, surely it is a no brainer for McLaren to want to pair Hammy with Kimi.

    I dont getwhat McLaren stand to gain from hiring Button.

    1. I write this reply after it seems certain Raikkonen won’t be in F1 next year, but even while Raikkonen was still an option I don’t think McLaren choosing Button over Raikkonen contradicts their driver policy of always trying to sign the best drivers available.

      Raikkonen was probably McLaren’s first choice but as they couldn’t agree a deal they had to start looking at other drivers. While I think that a case could be made that other drivers on the market would be better for McLaren than Button, apart from Raikkonen I don’t think any of the other options are significantly better.

      Also I think I remember Whitmarsh saying recently that McLaren wanted to have their 2010 driver line-up confirmed sooner rather than later as if they waited they ran the risk that the better drivers would already be signed by other teams.

  39. Jenson should probably stay at Brawn/Mercedes, but will end up at McLaren probably. Everything seems to be falling into place for a move to McLaren.

    Gutted Kimi won’t be at McLaren next year, but looking forward to Jenson v Lewis!

  40. My opinion is that, as the smoother driver, Button will be more successful than Hamilton next year if they both drive McLaren.

    Why? He has already beaten so against so called Number One drivers at BAR – Villeneuve and Trulli at Renault. Barichello was the more successful driver pre this season. In his first test of an F1 car, a Prost, button was 1/2 second a lap faster than Jean Alesi in the same car minutes later.

    On full tanks, Button’s style will ensure the tyres last better than Hamilton’s tail sliding technique. Hamilton may well be quicker in qualifying if the run low fuel in Q3. Both Sir Jackie Stewart and Alain Prost won their World Championships driving smoothly and balancing their cars on full tanks.

    Also, it is quite possible that Martin Whitmarsh does not favour Lewis over other drivers as much as Ron Dennis and I don’t think John Button micro manages the relationship between team and son.

    Anyway, having got 200- 1 on £20 for Button in this years championship, thank you William Hill! I have been down the same bookies and invested £100 at 6 to 1 on Button to win the championship next year.

    Time will tell?

  41. Another thought.

    Pre the Mercedes buyout, did Brawn as was have the money to develop a 2010 car? Presumably Button also knows the answer to that.

    1. Didn’t Brawn divert a lot of its cash to the 2010 car quite early too? I stand corrected on that one.

  42. Who cares whether him staying at mercedes is the sensible option. Button at mclaren will definately be more entertaining and thats all that should matter.

  43. Prisoner Monkeys
    18th November 2009, 9:03

    I think Button should stay. While I have no doubt he could hold his own at McHamilton, I don’t think they have a soul. They sold it when Mika Hakkinen left.

    I’m also questioning the supposed gap between Mercedes and McLaren. The Briitsh articles on the subject have discreetly painted Mercedes as being unsympathetic to JB, while at the same time McLaren are all sugar and spice and all things nice towards him. I just saw the ByronF1 Twitter feed that blatantly mis-quotes a quote from Ross Brawn. And if you look at the timing of it, the articles that claim Button is a certainty for McLaren only came when Mercedes bought out Brawn and left McLaren, amking McLaren a team wholly-owned by the British.

    The British press want Button to go to McLaren and seem to think that if they can convince everyone that the space separating McLaren from Mercedes is vast enough, they can make it happen.

  44. Button kudu bertahan di BrawnGP terus
    Tidak menolak kunjungan Anda ke blog saia yang lain di

  45. I used to think Button going to McLaren didn’t make sense on his part unless it really was all down to money, but recently I have had a change of view.

    I think if the contracts on offer to Button from Mercedes and McLaren were both the same he would accept the Mercedes one as Brawn is his current home so he knows the team and how it works whereas McLaren is Hamilton’s home, and although both teams will say their drivers are treated equally I think it will always be easier for the established driver in a team rather than the newcomer.

    However some reports are saying that McLaren are offering a three year deal and Mercedes only a one year deal.

    Even though Button may have the confidence in himself that he can win back to back championships he must realise that the title fight will be closer next year, and as hard as it is to make a prediction in November for the next season, (just think which teams would have been the favourites for 2009 this time last year), there could easily be four teams fighting closely for the championship.

    So unless Button did win back to back titles, he is at his strongest position in negotiations right now, and if he signed with Mercedes for one year depending on what happens next season he may be unable to then get a seat at a top team for 2011. So even if you ignore the money on offer and the Hamilton factor at McLaren a three year deal with McLaren could be better in the long term than a one year Mercedes contract.

    1. I agree, and I am pretty sure this is a fair reflection of the actual true story… whatever that is.

  46. It is now official, as reported about 15 minutes ago on Autosport: According to Kimi’s manager, Steve Robertson, Kimi will take a sabbatical from F1 during 2010. He leaves the door open for a return in 2011.

    So, McLaren will most likely be HAM and BUT. Which for McLaren could be a very good thing, of which I am sure McLaren is aware. As several have pointed out here, and as I said in the Forum the other day, with no refueling next season the cars are going to be a handful for a good portion of the race. Button’s “kinder” driving style could well pick up some wins or at least valuable Constructor points when Hamilton’s raw speed won’t quite turn the trick.

    And I do think Button will go to McLaren. After the slap in the face Ross Brawn gave hime by saying in effect Button wasn’t worth a raise, if I were Button I’d have been packed a gone already. Ross Brawn just did make a lot of money from the goodwill of both Honda and Button, and Barrichello for that matter, and now seems to forget not only on which side his bread was buttered but also who did the buttering for him. I’d think it poetic justice if Ross lost at least one thing out of all this: the #1–it belongs to Button and he will take it with him to McLaren.

    Someone mentioned that two British drivers in a British team / two German drivers in a German team would make the sport seem “nationalistic”. Seems to work for football, why NOT for F1? Back in the day, through the 20s, 30s, 40s, Grand Prix racing was quite nationalistic, at least in terms of support, if not driver loyalty. And GP not only survived that, but grew quite healty–healthy enough that a whole new series was initiated to showcase it-Formula 1.

    I think it will be very good to watch HAM/BUT slug it out with MAS/ALO and WEB/VET over at RBRacing. Should make an interesting season.

  47. One thing is for sure, which ever team he chooses it will be the wrong one!
    Throughout his career when ever he has had to make a choice of teams it’s been the wrong one, he only stayed at Brawn this season because he had no choice…… so we will know which will be the better team Brawn or McLaren after Jenson has signed… and it will be the other one.

  48. The BBC are claiming Button to McLaren is a done deal and will be announced later on Wednesday

  49. I think it will be awesome. Ok, Hamilton is quicker on a single lap. But trye management is going to massively more important next year, due to fueling ban. Jenson is a master of low tyre wear. So I reckon in a race there will be little to choose between them.

  50. For me it’s a pity that Kimi is taking a sabbatical and that Button is joining McLaren.
    I would have thought Button/Rosberg @ Brawn/Mercedes, Hamilton/Raikkonen @ McLaren, and Alonso/Massa @ Ferrari would have been an awesome prospect for the fans of F1 next year.
    I don’t see a Rosberg/Heidfeld pairing nearly as exciting.
    Oh well – let’s wait and see.

  51. agreed with Gaza to some extent.

    We dont know how well the drivers are going to do next year. we can keep saying ” oh hams gonna do better than button” and then suddenly 11 months later you see them both neck in neck.

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