May 16 (GMM) McLaren on Thursday opened the door for Jenson Button to lead the charge for the new works Honda partnership beginning in 2015.
Button’s existing contract does not extend that far, and so when the 33-year-old was mentioned and quoted in Thursday’s official statement, it did not say if the Briton would still be in the cockpit.
But McLaren’s managing director Jonathan Neale said on Thursday: “I was just laughing with Jenson about it.
“Jenson will drive here as long as he wants to.
“He fits our values and our culture really well. He’s here with the workforce this morning and it’s more a question of hoping he will still be here in 2015,” he added.
Neale said the Honda deal is essentially a “works” one, but clarified that there is no exclusivity — meaning the Japanese manufacturer could sign customer teams.
“All manufacturers and engine suppliers coming into formula one know that they do so with an expectation that, should they be required, they are prepared to supply more than one team,” he said.
Neale said McLaren is currently “the only team working with Honda”, but rumours suggest Sauber and Lotus have made enquiries to the Japanese marque about price.