F1 News, Views and Reviews

Jenson Button Confirmed As McLaren Driver For 2010

Jenson Button has been confirmed as a McLaren driver for the 2010 season following a turbulent week in the driver market.

The current reigning World Champion is moving to the team, to partner Lewis Hamilton leaving behind the Brawn GP team just a day after it was taken over by German automotive giant Mercedes Benz.

Button joined the Brawn set up way back when it was called BAR in 2003 following on from a drive with Renault.  Button had no luck until 2009 when he smashed the field in a fantastic car built by mastermind Ross Brawn.

“It’s always a difficult decision to leave a team when you’ve been there for so long,” said Button. “But life is all about challenges – and, most important of all, it’s about challenging yourself.

“So, although I won the world championship with Brawn GP last year, and I’ll never forget that, I was always adamant that I wanted to continue to set myself fresh challenges. So that’s why I’ve decided to join Vodafone McLaren Mercedes.

“You can’t help but be affected by this team’s phenomenal history. McLaren is one of the greats of world sport, and its achievements and list of past champions read like a Who’s Who of Formula 1 – Emerson Fittipaldi, James Hunt, Niki Lauda, Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna, Mika Hakkinen and of course my new team-mate Lewis Hamilton. I’ve followed the McLaren team ever since I was a small boy, and it feels unbelievable to finally be a part of it.”

Button visited the McLaren technology centre earlier this week, and says he is very impressed with the outfit.

“When I visited the McLaren Technology Centre earlier this month, it wasn’t simply the technical resources and the incredible standards of excellence that impressed me,” Button said. “No, I was equally struck by the ambition, the motivation and the winning spirit that flow through everybody there. And then there’s the team’s epic history: put it this way, the trophy cabinets seem to stretch for miles.”

But Button has already come under criticism from past drivers for jumping ship, most notably from Jackie Stewart the three time world champion.

“I think it’s a mistake by Jenson,” he said. “If I was Jenson, I would’ve wanted to do a deal with Brawn – because I know the culture of the Brawn team, I have high respect for Ross Brawn, I know the mechanics.

“There’s a totally different culture in McLaren, something that he might never have experienced before. They have a very clinical culture which doesn’t have the emotion or the drive in the same passionate way that Brawn would have had with him there as the reigning world champion.”

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