Formula 1 News

Button says only McLaren can boost title aims

The Brit is confident that his team is fully capable of helping him to win another championship. He has three victories so far this year.
Friday, November 11, 2011

ABU DHABI, Nov 10, 2011 (AFP) - Britain's Jenson Button said Thursday he committed his long-term future to McLaren because he believes it is one of the few teams that can support his ambition to win another Formula One world title.

The 31-year-old Englishman revealed he had received interest in his services from other teams but had chosen to stay with McLaren because he felt they were the only team that could always be relied to race for championships.

Button, who signed a contract extension last month, said: "I'm very confident here that I can help this team move forward and that they can give me what I need to fight for another world championship.

"Whether another team would do that, I don't know. Whether the circumstances would have ever been right in another team, I don't know.

"But I know what I have here and it's bloody good. Every year I am with this team, we will fight for the world championship."

Button began his Formula One career in 2000, securing his first victory in 2006 at a rain-hit and chaotic Hungarian Grand Prix while racing for Honda.

Despite winning his first world title while racing for Brawn GP in 2009, Button joined McLaren on a three-year deal in 2010.

He added: "I fitted in very quickly at McLaren and I feel at home after a year-and-a-half. It's a nice feeling."

On the eve of opening practice for this weekend's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, in which he will be fighting to take second place in this year's drivers championship behind German Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull, Button was in buoyant mood.

His McLaren team-mate and compatriot Lewis Hamilton was also upbeat. While expressing his wish to regain his best form and end a disappointing 2011 on a high note, he wants to settle and end his season-long difficulties with Brazilian Felipe Massa.

Hamilton, who collided with Massa for the fifth time this year during the Indian Grand Prix two weeks ago, said: "I haven't spoken to him yet.

"I would like to clear the air -- but we have to meet in the middle, it can't just come from one side. He has to be willing as well.

"We've had our collisions on the track, but I really don't have any problems with him, and that's been the same all year."

He added that he intended to fight for a victory this weekend and to be well clear of Massa's Ferrari car.

"I definitely plan to be nowhere near him," he said.Massa said he felt he had done nothing wrong and should not have been
penalised by the stewards in India.

He said: "... I was very upset not because it was Lewis, but because they penalised me for something I didn't do wrong. I didn't do anything wrong. Even if we had some crashes this year it wasn't coming from me for sure.

"It was not a mistake from me, or even from Lewis. Maybe you can say it was a race collision, but the mistake for me came from the stewards.

"When I make a mistake on the track I'm the first one to come here and say 'sorry, guys, I made a mistake'. But in the last race it was not a mistake from me, for sure."

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