World champion is closing in on team switch
17 November 2009

World champion Jenson Button is closing on a switch to McLaren-Mercedes in a deal that should be completed later this week.

A report in The Guardian newspaper said that, following a visit to the team's Woking base last week, further negotiations have taken place between Button and McLaren.

It is reported that a deal has been offered to Button by McLaren and, while he has not yet agreed it, his hopes of staying at the rebranded Mercedes Grand Prix team are minimal.

Brawn/Mercedes, the team that took Button to his world title, is unwilling to offer more than a £4m-per-year deal, around half of what Button's management is requesting.

Despite Mercedes taking over the team, chief executive officer Nick Fry emphasised that nothing had changed in the Button discussions.

"I'm sorry to say, it's not going to change anything," Fry told the BBC.

"We're running with a budget that is probably less than most of the others have spent and that's what Mercedes likes. In these financially constrained times, you do have to tighten your belt.

"We've had discussions with Jenson on what we think is a sensible salary and this is not going to change anything in that respect."

Button would partner Lewis Hamilton at McLaren, while Mercedes is considering running an all-German driver line-up.

Mercedes Motorsport boss Norbert Haug admitted last weekend that Nick Heidfeld was a possible target, and the team is understood already to have signed Nico Rosberg.

Meanwhile, German Timo Glock has been announced as the lead driver for the Manor F1 team, which will join the grid next year.

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Comments
2

17 November 2009

Jenson stay with Brawn it's the better team for you,

so the pay is not so high,there are other things to

think about.

Go to Mclaren and it will be a big mistake,take notice

of Jackie Stewart,Stirling Moss,Niki Lauda and Martin

Brundle.

18 November 2009

Jenson will get thrashed by Hamilton next year, thus proving why Ross didn't think he was worth the extra money. He'd fare better against Rosberg I think. That said I don't think the Mercedes cars will be as dominant as Brawn were. The other teams have caught up now, so I'd still go to McLaren if I was Jenson for the better chance of a win. Next year will be the measure of Button though. Now he's world champ he needs to do well because if he gets bogged down like he has in previous years, then it will reinforce the belief that this year was all about the car not him and that he was a lucky champion.

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