Just imagine: it’s the 2030 British Grand Prix at Silverstone and the crowds are going simply wild with hysterical enthusiasm. Striding onto the pit wall, his hair greying slightly a few months after his 50th birthday, comes McLaren president Jenson Button, a true Luca di Montezemolo for his own distinctive era.
Everybody knows that he won the F1 championship twice for McLaren before retiring just short of his 40th birthday at the start of 2020.
Button has signed a new long-term McLaren deal
Since then he has been flat out behind the scenes, glad-handing politicians, promoting the McLaren brand after their hat trick of Le Mans victories a few years before. Now we really know what McLaren had in mind when they signed him on a long-term contract back on a breezy Wednesday in October 2011, just before the Japanese GP.
"I’ve never felt any more at home at a team than I do at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes,” he said all those years ago. “I’ve won four of the greatest races of my life here, I’m currently lying second in the drivers’ world championship, and I feel that I’m driving better than ever.
"You can only achieve that with the right level of support – and I truly believe that the passion and determination to win are stronger here at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes than anywhere else. As a grand prix driver, those are incredibly powerful feelings to share and be part of, and they’ve only reinforced my desire to commit my long-term future to this team.
"I’ve made no secret of my ambition to continue winning races and world championships, and I fully believe this is the place where I can achieve those aims."
And a whole lot more besides.