As reported by BBC F1, Jenson Button visited McLaren headquarters this week, and sent the rumour mill reeling once again. There was talk a couple of weeks ago of Jenson Button joining Lewis Hamilton at McLaren but this was quickly dismissed by Brawn GP who said he was all but signed with them for the 2010 season.
Jenson Button still hasn’t signed with Brawn GP, with many citing money as the reason why. It could also be that Jenson Button doesn’t have faith in the Brawn GP car which didn’t have the same edge at the end of the 2009 season as it did for the first 6 races. Seeing how much the McLaren MP4-24 improved over the second half of the season and how much money and knowledge the team will pump into the McLaren MP4-25, there is a good chance that Jenson Button sees McLaren as the team to give him a championship winning car next year, more so than Brawn GP.
Rivals in Brazil in 2009 – team mates at McLaren in 2010?
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Kimi Raikkonen has been the man linked with that second seat McLaren for weeks, even months, but now Jenson Button is possibly back in the picture, could the ice cool Finn by third choice for only 2 places? Having an all British line-up, back to back championship winning Brits at that, seems on the surface to be a dream scenario for McLaren. For a team that have become more of a brand than possibly even Ferrari, at least in Formula 1, this would get them unprecedented publicity. They would also have 2 drivers who interact well with the general public, something Kimi Raikkonen has never been keen to be involved in.
There remains one important question – could Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton co-exist in the same team? Many believe Lewis Hamilton has been the number one driver within McLaren ever since his debut season, even when his ream mate at the time was the previous season’s champion Fernando Alonso. Would we see both drivers given the same attention and chances as each other, as is the ruling of the FIA, officially anyway.
This could of course all just be games by Jenson Button to get the Brawn GP he wants and believes he rightfully deserves. If there is even the slightest chance that Jenson Button could be offered a seat at McLaren for 2010, that could be an offer far to sweet to resist.
I’ve never been a huge fan of Jenson Button, and last year did little to change that, his drive in Abu Dhabi being a lone bright spot. Do I want to see him at McLaren? I think it would make things interesting and as long as the car is 100% I think he’d do very well. However, that’s where the problem with Jenson Button lies. Unlike Lewis Hamilton who fights tooth and nail no matter how bad his car is, Jenson Button seems to fall to pieces driving a car he’s not 100% satisfied with.
Maybe we are all reading more into this than is actually there, after all Kimi Raikkonen has visited the McLaren headquarters and more recently his managers have too.
At this point I’m nor sure who I’d prefer to see partnering Lewis Hamilton in 2010, neither Button nor Raikkonen excite me a great deal. I’d much prefer to someone like Robert Kubica join McLaren, someone who’s hungry, talented and willing to drive his heart out for the team.