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Jenson Button to remain at McLaren for 2016 F1 season

Jenson Button has decided against retirement and will remain with McLaren for the 2016 Formula One season.

other sports Updated: Oct 01, 2015 17:52 IST
Jenson Button,Retirement,Meclaren
WOKING: F1 car brand CEO Ron Dennis, right, shakes hands with Britain's McLaren F1 driver Jenson Button at left, during a presentation, in Woking, England.(AP)

Jenson Button has decided against retirement and will remain with McLaren for the 2016 Formula One season.

The 2009 world champion had been considering quitting after this season, but both sides announced Thursday that he would continue for another year.

The team has struggled this season with new engine provider Honda, leaving Button’s future in doubt.

“Over the past month or so I have done quite a lot of thinking, and it is no secret that I was at one point in two minds about my future,” the 35-year-old British driver said.

Button, who has been with McLaren for six years, said he decided to stay after extensive talks with team chairman and CEO Ron Dennis.

“It has become clear to me that Ron is both utterly determined and uniquely equipped to lead our team through its current difficulties to great successes in the future,” Button said. “That gives me great confidence, and it is for that reason that, together, he and I have decided to continue our partnership.”

Teammate Fernando Alonso is also expected to stay with McLaren for 2016.

Button has a two-year contract with McLaren through 2016, but there were clauses allowing either side to terminate the deal after one year.

Dennis said “that option immediately became an irrelevance” after his talks with Button.

“That being the case, Jenson will race for McLaren-Honda next year, under the terms and conditions as set out in the two-year contract that both parties entered into a year ago,” he said.

McLaren driver Jenson Button of Britain drives his car during the second practice session at the Formula One Japanese Grand Prix in Suzuka on September 25, 2015. (AFP)

McLaren is next-to-last in the constructors’ championship with 17 points this year. Alonso is 16th in the drivers’ championship with 11 points and Button is 18th with six.

“Granted, this year has not been an easy one for us, but we know what we need to do to improve things,” Button said.

Button’s last win came at the season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix in 2012. His best result this season was eighth place at the Monaco GP in May.

Button next season will become only the third driver in F1 history after Rubens Barrichello and Michael Schumacher to pass the milestone of more than 300 Grand Prix races.

First Published: Oct 01, 2015 17:52 IST