McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh has insisted that the team has no plans to change its driver line-up for 2014. Button confirmed over the Belgian Grand Prix weekend that his option for next year has yet to be signed by the team but expects to complete his career at McLaren.
The Brit is currently in the second year of a contract negotiated and signed in 2011 after joining the team in 2010 to partner Lewis Hamilton. The Woking based squad holds an option to retain Button’s services for 2014 which is believed to be subject to performances clauses met by the team. Current team-mate Sergio Perez replaced Hamilton at McLaren for this season in what was reported to be a multi-year contract.
Whitmarsh has made it clear that he wants to retain the two drivers for 2014 but failed to confirm that they would stay. He is quoted by AUTOSPORT saying: “I think our guys deserve another go at it. They have done a good enough job and they are a good couple of drivers.
“They deserve a better McLaren next year and that’s what we’re hoping to give them.”
Perez is expecting to stay on for 2014 and Button feels the same, giving no indication that he plans to leave McLaren anytime soon. He said in Belgium: “I want to be here next year but I haven’t heard the confirmation of that yet from the team and you have to wait for that. There is a lot about the future that definitely appeals to me.
“It is very exciting and there are new challenges. Even next season for me, I am excited about it.”
Meanwhile The Times is reporting that a long-term deal to extend Button’s £12 million-a-year contract could coincide with the team’s celebration of 50 years in F1. They report that the deal is likely to be for three years and will take Button to his 36th birthday.
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