Button warns McLaren he may go elsewhere

Button warns McLaren he may go elsewhere

Jenson Button has warned McLaren he may not stay with the team even if they do eventually decide to offer him a new contract.

McLaren are taking an age to decide on their driver line-up for 2015, with the delay understood to centre around Fernando Alonso and his bid to negotiate a settlement with Ferrari, the team he is leaving with a year remaining on his current deal.

With Alonso still legally tied to Ferrari, it leaves McLaren, Button and team-mate Kevin Magnussen in limbo with regard to the future as nothing can be decided and announced.

McLaren have long promised an answer ahead of the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi on November 23, but the clock is ticking and it appears at this stage as if any sort of resolution is some way off.

For Button, any feelings of frustration at how the situation has dragged on have long since faded.

Whilst Formula One has been a way of life for Button for the last 14 years, he can now see other opportunities beckon.

Asked if he would stay if McLaren put a new contract in front of him, he said: “That is a good question I cannot answer at this moment in time.

“When you are put in a position that many drivers have been in over the years, when you are not sure if your contract is going to be renewed, it opens your eyes to different challenges and different possibilities.

“Whether it is racing, doing another sport, or something different altogether, for me I am excited about the challenges ahead.

“I have a lot I am excited about, a lot of different ideas, whether it is for next year or the year after.

“F1 is a massive part of my life, and motor racing has been. It is not going to stop. It will continue, but I don’t know where that is going to be right now.

“I never feel like I’m being pushed out of the sport because I will definitely be in the sport in some shape or form, and it is going to be massively exciting.”

It would be easy for Button to express disappointment and bitterness at the way he has been treated by McLaren, who arguably should have shown more respect given his status as a former world champion.

The only disappointment as far as Button is concerned is the fact he has driven around in an uncompetitive car for the last two seasons without a hope of winning.

“I’m a world champion and I want to win grands prix, so if you don’t have a quick car you are disappointed. For me that is the bit that hurts more than anything else,” said Button ahead of this weekend’s penultimate race of the season in Brazil.

“A late call on who is going to be in the car next year, initially I guess it is a strange situation.

“A couple of months back I felt differently, but after a while you get used to it and you do what you love.

“You realise the most important thing is you are driving an F1 car, I doing my dream job, my hobby, something I am pretty damn good at, and that is the most important thing right now.”

If the final grand prix in Abu Dhabi on November 23 is to be Button’s swansong, again, it is not something that overly concerns him.

“I am not about to hold a party to say I am leaving,” said Button with a smile.

“People always think of it as retiring, but I’m not. Whatever I do next year I am not retiring.

“I am still a racing driver who has won a world championship and wants to go and achieve a lot more in motorsport.

“So I will probably have a couple of drinks if it is my last race in F1, with friends and family.

“But I don’t feel I will have to have a big thing made of my career, whichever way it goes.”

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