Jenson Button, Fernando Alonso: ‘We could leave McLaren’

McLaren hinted on Friday that Jenson Button was planning to call time on his Formula 1 career but said they still hoped to persuade Britain’s 2009 world champion to stay with them next season. His leadership once again came under the microscope after today’s calamity.


Triple champion Lauda, now a non-executive chairman of the Mercedes team as well as a television pundit, told the BBC at the Japanese Grand Prix that he had spoken to Button about the situation.

On Saturday Alonso, who is in the first of a three-year deal with McLaren, refuted those suggestions. Saying he will “definitely” be with the British team next season.

It has been claimed that talks with Dennis, absent so far this weekend with flu, and have stalled.

While Button might be contractually obliged to stay at the team, it is still yet to be seen whether he will follow through with that or elect to retire from the sport.

“It’s like a samurai warrior without his sword or his armor”.

“Anything that is coming out of our drivers at the moment has its origins in frustration and disappointment and demotivation”.

Dennis, who arrived late in Suzuka after being confined to his Tokyo hotel room with a virus, said: “Jenson has a two-year contract [including this year] and we are not changing”.

A double retirement under the floodlit streets of a nighttime Singapore could turn into something more permanent for Jenson Button as he ponders his F1 future.

Speculation that Honda, second only to Toyota among vehiclemakers in Japan, are considering quitting is wide of the mark, even though there will be a lot more pain next year. “It’s not been straightforward, as it might seem from other people’s comments”. I wish they would just keep them to themselves.

“I speak with him Briatore but there is nothing new”. “That’s his [Dennis’s] choice”.

When a stone-faced Rosberg declined to respond, Vettel said: “It’s a joke – you can laugh too”. “There’s so many possibilities of what could happen next year”, he said. In addition, if he is not? Obviously, we are happy with both drivers. “At the same time it is no secret that we are here to win”. “2004 was a great year”, Button said on Thursday.

“I don’t know about driving, I don’t know if I’d be any good”.

“The only thing is I should have taken away any doubt over our commitment to him earlier than I did”. He has a contract. “He understands the contract and I am surprised at the comment”.

The whole saga spectacularly draws the spotlight onto the enormous mess McLaren find themselves in. “Very embarrassing”.

In addition to describing his car’s lack of speed as “embarrassing”, Alonso was heard castigating the Honda power unit by comparing it to “a GP2 engine”.

Dennis said the 34-year-old’s messages were “unprofessional” but that he would not go “ballistic” at his driver. McLaren-Honda in front of Honda’s home crowd at their circuit.




Carlos Sainz passes Fernando Alonso during the Japanese Grand Prix