Jenson Button’s future has been decided as McLaren bring an end to speculation the 2009 Formula 1 world champion would not be on the grid next year.
Although Button had a two-year contract with the team at the start of 2015, there was an option to terminate the contract after the first year. Also, McLaren couldn’t keep Button in the team if he wished to retire.
“Over the past month or so I have done quite a lot of thinking, and it is no secret that I was at one point in two minds about my future,” Button said.
“But I have been a McLaren driver for six seasons now, and in that time I have got to know Ron very well.
“He and I have had some very good chats these past few weeks, and during those chats it has become clear to me that Ron is both utterly determined and uniquely equipped to lead our team through its current difficulties to great successes in the future.
“That gives me great confidence, and it is for that reason that, together, he and I have decided to continue our partnership.”
Following the Singapore Grand Prix last month, Button had suggested that he lacked joy from the sport, given the situation McLaren-Honda currently find themselves in. The noises the Briton was making led people to believe he was about to announce his retirement in Japan last weekend.
“As soon as I had made that decision, straight away I realised it was the correct one.
“OK, granted, this year has not been an easy one for us, but we know what we need to do to improve things.
“In collaboration with Honda, we will work extremely hard over the next weeks and months in order to make sure that 2016 will be a much better season than 2015 has been.”
Button has currently raced in 279 Formula 1 races since his debut for Williams in 2000. Since then he has won a world championship (2009), had 15 Grand Prix wins, 50 podium finishes, eight pole positions and eight fastest laps.
Image via McLaren Media Centre