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Button Extends McLaren Deal
Jenson signs new long-term contract
Posted Oct 06, 2011 by Chris White
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With his current deal due to expire at the end of next season, Jenson Button has moved to end the uncertainty and speculation over his future by signing a new long-term contract with McLaren and the 31-year old former World Champion says he “couldn’t be happier.”
Button is the only man on the grid who can mathematically catch Sebastian Vettel in this year’s Championship, although the German needs just one point from this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix to secure his second consecutive title.
Teams such as Ferrari were rumoured to be interested in the British driver, but Button felt that the “passion and determination” shown by his current employers was greater than their rivals, persuading him to sign the new deal.
McLaren started the season in a disappointing manner with several below-par races, with both Button and team mate Lewis Hamilton being openly critical of the lack of progress being made in comparison with their rivals, but in recent weeks the McLaren driven by Button has only been bettered by Vettel.
Jenson has picked up 76 points from the past four races, a total that has only been beaten by, you gussed it, Sebastian Vettel, who has taken 93 of the possible 100. This recent points score is something McLaren value, with team boss Martin Whitmarsh going so far as saying that Button is “one of the most capable and respected drivers we’ve ever had.”