Jenson Button signs McLaren contract extension

2012 F1 season

Jenson Button, McLaren, Singapore, 2011

Button will remain with McLaren beyond 2012

McLaren have confirmed Jenson Button will remain with them beyond 2011.

The team announced today Button has signed a new multi-year contract.

Button said:”I’ve never felt more at home at a team than I do at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes.

“‘I’ve won four of the greatest races of my life here, I’m currently lying second in the drivers’ world championship, and I feel that I’m driving better than ever.”

Team principal Martin Whitmarsh said:”Jenson is a great driver and a great guy.”

“In fact, I can safely say that he’s one of the most capable and respected drivers we’ve ever had, and I’m therefore absolutely delighted that he’ll continue to work with us into the future.

“He’s a considerable credit to this organisation, and I’m proud to be his team principal.

“I feel sure that he’ll now build on the considerable success he’s already achieved with us, and will be even more successful with us in years to come.”

Lewis Hamilton added his endorsement, saying:”It’s great news that Jenson has chosen to stay with Vodafone McLaren Mercedes.

“Jenson has been a great person to work with, and a genuine team player, from the moment we welcomed him on board.”

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106 comments on Jenson Button signs McLaren contract extension

  1. Spawinte (@spawinte) said on 5th October 2011, 10:20

    Possible get out clause if Ferrari come knocking?

  2. gatekiller (@gatekiller) said on 5th October 2011, 10:25

    I could be wrong, but I highly doubt that Button would want to play second fiddle in Team Alonso.

  3. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 5th October 2011, 10:33

    McLaren using the unhelpfully vague term “multi-year contract”. Presumably then this is for at least 2012 and 2013. But is it for any longer?

    Remember Vettel’s got a deal a place until 2014 and Alonso has one until 2016.

  4. Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 5th October 2011, 10:33

    Inevitable, sensible and welcome news.

  5. Great news and it was all but obvious. Jenson has done a stellar job and deserves all the accolades he’s been garnering of late and McLaren have been the only team to give Red Bull some real challenge this year. It only makes sense for the two to continue.

    On a side note, does Lewis have to say “Vodafone McLaren Mercedes” EVERY single time, like a PR robot? It’s so annoying! Like someone hard-wired it into his head..

    • Jenson said it too. The sponsors won’t like it if they don’t, and it’s them who pay the wages! #SadButTrue

      • Lewis does it every time, not even Martin does it that often. I perfectly understand the sponsors’ angle but talk about Lewis over-doing it. :p

        • vjanik said on 5th October 2011, 11:57

          they could be getting a payment every time they say it. thats what i would do is i was a sponsor.

        • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 5th October 2011, 13:07

          Maybe he has a bet with his girlfriend on how often he can say it during an interview and they laugh about it together as a way to make these things bearable.

          I would try to find a manner to make it fun in that way, or it would quickly become unbearable to have to keep it up.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 5th October 2011, 10:57

      Everyone at McLaren seems to do it. Which is fine, after all they are paid to. It’s when their fans start doing it that it seems rather sad.

      • Glad I’m not the only one who gets annoyed by it.. Imagine if everyone at Ferrari started saying “Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro” all the time!

      • Journeyer (@journeyer) said on 5th October 2011, 11:07

        Well, it’s not like Jenson, Lewis, and Martin wrote these PR statements anyway, so it doesn’t really matter.

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 5th October 2011, 11:09

        On a side note, does Lewis have to say “Vodafone McLaren Mercedes” EVERY single time, like a PR robot?

        Everyone at McLaren seems to do it.

        I suspect they lost a bet.

      • Bullfrog (@bullfrog) said on 5th October 2011, 11:19

        Doesn’t take long, sadly, for fans, commentators and other people who should know better to start regurgitating corporate names like “Lotus Renault GP”, “BMW Williams” or whatever.

        As for the JB announcement, biggest no-brainer ever for me – he’s been outstanding in the race for 2nd place this year!

        I wonder if it’s a long term deal that includes promoting McLaren road cars, technologies and services. That’d be more fitting than the ads for bank accounts and loans…

      • F1Yankee (@f1yankee) said on 5th October 2011, 14:48

        that’s nothing. if you can stomach it, watch some nascar. a non-stop litany of brand names and product placement, in addition to the signage.

        while i’m on it, what is the deal with brundle/legard and brundle/coulthard and the damn team names?

        “the mclaren mercedes coming up on the mercedes mercedes…”

        “sauber ferrari and ferrari ferrari”

        “ferrari all the way through…”

        aaarrgggg make it stop!

    • Gold Leaf said on 5th October 2011, 11:00

      Button says: “I’ve never felt more at home at a team than I do at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes”

      Whitmarsh says: “Vodafone McLaren Mercedes has the very best driver line-up in all of Formula 1″

      … but you instead you choose to use this announcement as an opportunity to single out Hamilton.

      Give it a break. Vodafone have supplied hundreds of millions of dollars to McLaren to allow them to build and race cars, the team name is Vodafone McLaren Mercedes.
      None of this is particularly complicated.

      • Hey, calm down! I’m not “singling out” Lewis. Please do not get any ideas that I’m anti-Hamilton. Anyone who knows me here, knows I’m not. I’m a great admirer of his, only that I’ve noticed he says that PR line far too often, all the time, everywhere, which is a bit annoying. That’s all.

        • Gold Leaf said on 5th October 2011, 11:29

          No, you did single him out, we can tell, because in your comment, you singled him out.

          It is a part of his job description to say Vodafone McLaren Mercedes, exactly the same for all the drivers and team management.

          Sponsor supplies truck load of money for above title billing, as an employee you do what is required, like I said, not complicated.

          • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 5th October 2011, 11:32

            And he’s retracted it now so get off his back.

          • Gold Leaf said on 5th October 2011, 11:43

            No he hasn’t.
            Where does he retract it?

            In fact he just double-downed and repeated it. The exact opposite of retraction.

            He said something a bit dopey, and as is right and proper, got immediately called out on it by everyone in this thread.
            So maybe you could do me a favour and get of my back.

          • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 5th October 2011, 11:52

            I regret saying anything to you now. I thought his reply was a very reasonable attempt to tone down his remarks. You seem rather desperate not to give him the benefit of the doubt.

          • MW (@) said on 5th October 2011, 13:10

            Sheesh!! DMY Goldleaf!! :P

      • I Love The Pope said on 5th October 2011, 14:01

        Maybe Lewis fans should be more concerned about the fact that he crashes a lot and doesn’t win races and championships anymore.

    • NickTheGeek (@nickthegeek) said on 5th October 2011, 12:12

      Dont watch any nascar then that just gets silly.

      “I would like to thank the Nestle, Mountain Dew, Sparko Ford Fusion team for such a great job”

      • tharris19 (@tharris19) said on 5th October 2011, 12:30

        Micheal Waltrip can name 20 sponsors in seven seconds!

      • GeeMac (@geemac) said on 5th October 2011, 12:51

        And the Aussie V8’s, it’s all “Team Vocacom” and “the Jack Daniel’s boys” in that series.

        To be honest I don’t care if drivers mention their sponsors (or partners as McLaren calls them) names in interviews, because without sponsors the teams have no money, and with no money the teams can operate. If that’s what it takes to keep them invloved so be it!

    • Could be worse, at Indy racing they even have sponsors for the onboard camera and laptime charts! And the presenters slavishly mouth the full name each time.

  6. Maciek (@maciek) said on 5th October 2011, 10:49

    Good on Jenson. Didn’t think he’d be doing this well. Nicest surprise of the season.

  7. Sean N (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk) said on 5th October 2011, 10:53

    I think McLaren are very pleasantly suprised at just how good he is and he’s getting better and better. Just think what he could achieve if McLaren got behind him the way they do Hamilton.
    Either way if Hamilton wants to be World Champ again he’ll have to beat Button first. That’s gonna be tough!

    • Shimks (@shimks) said on 5th October 2011, 11:17

      McLaren will certainly be happy with Jenson’s performances but not pleasantly surprised. They wouldn’t have hired him if they hadn’t believed in his calibre.

      And I’ll take this opportunity to spit in the eyes of the multitudes of people who at then end of 2009 said Jenson was a one-hit-double-diffuser-wonder who would do nothing at McLaren, especially when compared to Lewis. How wrong you all were.

      • Tango (@tango) said on 5th October 2011, 12:20

        Yep, I’ll be the first to admit i am guilty as charged (is it the English saying?). Never ever thought Button would be where he is today. He has impressed me, especially recently (word of caution, three retirements in the last 5 races and it will seem like a bad idea to have signed him on long term, you are only as good as your X last races remember!). After Shangai, we all thought Button was a boring driver satisfied with fourht place and Hamilton the only one capable of challenging Vettel. Button has rised to the challenge nonetheless.

        I hope Lewis can get back on form next year (with a better knowledge of tyres and slightly matured) so we can at least have an interesting intra team battle in the top field.

      • Not really, in terms of qualifying Jenson has been dominated by Lewis, and in terms of races Jenson is driving at his best this year, Lewis is having a diabolic season and is only one good result behind him.

        Says it all really.

        • Dominated? The gap between the two are among the smallest of any driver pairings.

          The qualifying gap between Senna and Prost is on average much greater, yet while most will say Senna is the better driver, they wouldn’t say Prost is not really good either.

          Conversely, the gap between Mansell and Patrese are not that great in 1991 (before active suspension) yet even in that year Mansell is clearly the better driver.

          In short: qualifying results alone do not count for much. Some people are naturally better at it (incl. Jarno Trulli of the Trulli train)

          • Shimks (@shimks) said on 5th October 2011, 16:29

            Thank you, Michel. You saved me the trouble!

          • mwoerne (@mwoerne) said on 5th October 2011, 18:29

            Actually, the qualifying gap, on average, is around 3/10ths of a second, which is very comparable to the Alonso/Massa difference. Lewis should, in reality, be up 12-2 in qualifying as well(he would have surely out-qualified Button in Monaco and Singapore if he were able to put in proper runs). In today’s terms, that’s pretty significant, in my opinion. Back in the day (Senna/Prost Era), qualifying differences were often very large. In today’s über-precise and exact racing world, the gaps will obviously be a lot smaller. Hence, 3/10ths of a second being a pretty significant difference, and carrying with it much different connotations than that same qualifying gap would have entailed in 1990, for example.

          • I was refering to the qualifying battle which is what, 11-3 now?

            But yeah, the gap between them in terms of laptime is usually around 3 10ths.

  8. Faraz (@faraz) said on 5th October 2011, 10:56

    Well, as long he stays out of Ferrari.

  9. Dan Thorn (@dan-thorn) said on 5th October 2011, 10:59

    As a Ferrari fan as well as a Jenson fan I admit, I am slightly disappointed as this all but rules out any slim chance there may have been for a Ferrari switch.

    That said this is a sensible move and benefits everyone – McLaren have got a fast, solid, sensible driver, Jenson has a few more years in a top team, and Lewis has a team mate he knows well and gets along with.

    Great for the team, great for the fans and great for the sport.

  10. maxthecat said on 5th October 2011, 12:08

    Good news for Jenson, McLaren is a perfect fit for him and he for McLaren. I believe he has steadied the ship and made them much more consistent performers with his driving style and input.

  11. djdaveyp85 (@djdaveyp87) said on 5th October 2011, 12:12

    Good Stuff. When does Lewis’ contract run til?

    NOw they just need to build them both a championship winning capable car and let them slog it out between themselves! I love watching these 2 race each other!

  12. Great news, and means I dont need to get a new cap for next year :)

    • RBAlonso (@rbalonso) said on 5th October 2011, 12:37

      Unless he is car number 3 ;)

      • Journeyer (@journeyer) said on 5th October 2011, 12:50

        I think McLaren will retain them in the same car numbers for next year, regardless of who’s ahead. It’s much more convenient that way. And there is precedent – even though Kimi beat DC in 2003, DC kept #5 and Kimi kept #6 for 2004.

        • RBAlonso (@rbalonso) said on 5th October 2011, 14:16

          Yeah, I think you’re right man. I can’t see Hamilton’s fragile mental outlook being improved by being, for want of a better word, ‘demoted’.

          • TheBrav3 said on 5th October 2011, 16:23

            Yeah but mclaren is a fair team and jenson may demand the number as should be his right *if* he finishes the season ahead. Jenson is known to be one of the nice guys of formula one but that doesn’t mean he wont take everything he can get.

  13. Eggry (@eggry) said on 5th October 2011, 12:41

    Good news but I’m little disappointed because I want him to go Ferrari in 2013. However it might be good sign for Massa.

  14. I’m glad, he’s a great asset to the team and I’d be quite disappointed if he moved to Ferrari any time soon.

  15. HoHum (@hohum) said on 5th October 2011, 13:33

    Why do you all dislike Jenson so much that you want to send him to Ferrari, Ferrari dominance in the modern F1 era began and ended with the “Brawn” years. Apart from the money and the occasional winning car Ferrari have been a terrible place for a driver to be, especially when the race-team has been run in-house.

    • F1Yankee (@f1yankee) said on 5th October 2011, 14:52

      yes, i’m sure it’s a terrible place to be. who in their right mind would do such a thing?

      when was the ferrari team not in-house? grand prix racing IS the house over there.

      • HoHum (@hohum) said on 5th October 2011, 15:54

        When they had a Frenchman and an Englishman ( Todt and Brawn) running the team, they were bought in (with Schui) to replace the Ferrari career employees who had been presiding over a long losing streak.

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