Apart from the fact that the news offers a very public thumbs-up for the commercial viability of contemporary F1, as far as Jenson Button is concerned, I’m not sure how much the decision by Mercedes to buy the Brawn F1 team materially alters his current dilemma, namely whether to stick with what is now the three-pointed-star or make a move to McLaren.
I am however interested that Jackie Stewart, Stirling Moss, Niki Lauda and Martin Brundle all expressed the view over the past few days that Button should exert every effort to stay with the team that carried him to this year’s world championship.
Even so, it must be said that for McLaren to come a knocking on your door is the F1 equivalent of a footballer getting an approach from Manchester United. It’s not the sort of thing that happens every day of the week. And if you turn it down, chances are it won’t come your way again.
At the end of the day, McLaren won’t be disadvantaged in the slightest by being perceived as no longer MB’s factory standard bearer in the F1 front line.
They and Mercedes have gone their separate ways because they have conflicting interests in the high performance road car arena.
But out on the circuits, McLaren remains potentially a consistently formidable winning machine. Jenson turns down their offer at his peril.
*Picture shows Jenson Button testing for the McLaren F1 team in 1999, after winning the Autosport BRDC Young Driver Award.