LONDON, Oct 5, 2011 (AFP) - Former world champion Jenson Button has committed his long-term future to McLaren after signing a new contract with the British constructor on Wednesday.
Button, who won the world title in 2009, is in his second season with the team and is now set to continue for several more years, although the exact length of the deal has not been disclosed.
The 31-year-old has won a total of four races for the team and is second to Sebastian Vettel in the 2011 standings, with a slender chance of depriving the German of the world title.
Button had previously suggested he would be willing to extend his spell with McLaren and he admits the atmosphere in the team was crucial to his decision.
"I've never felt more at home at a team than I do at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes," the 31-year-old told his team's official website.
"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.
"You can only achieve that with the right level of support - and I truly believe that the passion and determination to win are stronger here at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes than anywhere else.
"As a grand prix driver, those are incredibly powerful feelings to share and be part of, and they've only reinforced my desire to commit my long-term future to this team.
"I've made no secret of my ambition to continue winning races and world championships, and I fully believe this is the place where I can achieve those aims.
McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh is confident that Button will be able to improve on his already successful time at McLaren in the coming years. "Jenson is a great driver and a great guy," Whitmarsh said.
"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."