With his future in Formula 1 at the end of the 2014 looking to be at risk, today’s confirmation that Jenson Button will race for the McLaren-Honda team ended the speculation and sees him returning to the sport for his sixteenth season in Formula 1.
Button believes that he and his new team-mate Fernando Alonso can take the recently united McLaren-Honda partnership back to the front of the field.
“I am extremely excited to be embarking on my 16th year in Formula 1 and my sixth season for McLaren,” said Button.
“Like Fernando, I am certain that McLaren and Honda will achieve great things together, and I feel sure that, working together, all of us will pull incredibly hard to create a brilliantly effective winning team.”
Whereas Alonso has openly admitted his idolism of Ayrton Senna, it was Senna’s team-mate in the first two years of the initial McLaren-Honda partnership that Button looks up to – Alain Prost – and the similarities in their driving style cannot be helped but be noticed, especially in changeable conditions.
“I admired Ayrton Senna enormously, but, for me, it was the exploits of his McLaren-Honda team-mate Alain Prost that inspired me most as a boy,” insisted Button.
“The way he stroked those beautifully brutal red-and-white cars to grand prix wins and world championships was to my mind poetry in motion, and I have tried to emulate his driving style ever since.”
Button is pleased to have been retained by McLaren for 2015, and is happy to be reunited with Honda, and the 34-year-old Briton is looking forward to get back on track when the season begins in Australia in March. He is also happy that his 2014 team-mate Kevin Magnussen has been retained as the reserve driver in the team.
“Being a part of new-look McLaren-Honda is a wonderful opportunity for all of us, and I am very pleased to have been invited to do my bit,” said Button. “In fact, I am absolutely raring to go.
“I am also very glad that Kevin will remain part of the team. He is a very quick driver and a really nice guy.
“Looking forward, I know the Honda guys well, having driven Formula 1 cars powered by their engines from 2003 to 2008. I have a huge amount of respect and admiration for them, and promise to give 100% to make their partnership with McLaren a success.
“Last but far from least, I am very much looking forward to having a driver as fast and as experienced as Fernando as my team-mate. I am sure we will work extremely well together.”