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Pre-Singapore analysis - Button, Perez calm on McLaren futures 20 Sep 2013

Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren.
Formula One World Championship, Rd13, Singapore Grand Prix, Preparations, Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore, Thursday, 19 September 2013 Sergio Perez (MEX) McLaren walks the track.
Formula One World Championship, Rd13, Singapore Grand Prix, Preparations, Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore, Thursday, 19 September 2013 Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus F1.
Formula One World Championship, Rd13, Singapore Grand Prix, Preparations, Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore, Thursday, 19 September 2013 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1.
Formula One World Championship, Rd13, Singapore Grand Prix, Preparations, Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore, Thursday, 19 September 2013

Speaking at Marina Bay on Thursday, Jenson Button said he is very confident that his medium-term future lays with McLaren as they move towards their new era with Honda. The Japanese company’s engine supply deal doesn’t come on stream until 2015, but Button is clearly believes that an extension to his current contract will see him part of that new future.

“It’s definitely not a doubt, just that these things take a bit of time. Obviously there’s a big change in the team - with Honda coming in - so it’s just different and not a straightforward continuation. It’s a different situation with new partners. It may be to do with the funding, but I don’t have a worry in the world about my future with this team. It’s very exciting and I hope it’s a long future.”

Renewing his links with Honda is clearly important to him, and he explained that he’d like to be part of it for two or three years. “I’m 33 years old and still feel young, and want to be around for longer. There are so many exciting new challenges and partnerships for this team in the future and I want to be a part of them.”

Amid media speculation over whether Fernando Alonso could yet rejoin McLaren from Ferrari, Button said a possible partnership with the Spaniard wouldn’t bother him, especially after he showed up well against Hamilton in their time together. However, Button’s current team mate Sergio Perez said that his re-signing for 2014 isn’t far off.

“The contract is done but we are just finalising the final dots,” the Mexican said. “Obviously I cannot give much details about them but everything is pretty much done.”

Button, however, like Felipe Massa, believes that Kimi Raikkonen’s deal to join Alonso at Ferrari could prove troublesome. Raikkonen disagreed.

“I don’t see the reason why it wouldn’t work,” said the Finn, who was Ferrari’s last world champion back in 2007. “We are all old enough to know what we are doing. If there is something, I’m sure we can talk it through. It’s not like we are 20-year old guys any more. I might be wrong, but time will tell. I’m pretty sure everything will be good.

“You always learn from different team-mates; everyone does different things. Maybe they do something better than you but often there are a lot of things that only suit one guy and it doesn’t work if you try to do the same thing for yourself. I know the team, I know the people. I have no worries to go there and have something that wouldn’t work.”

Hamilton said he liked the idea of Raikkonen joining Alonso, but laughed when asked how he thought it might go. “I think it’s great. They’ll have two of the best drivers in one team. It’ll be interesting to see how the dynamics of that work out, but I don’t want to add to any of the suggestions!

“As for Fernando, I feel that both of us have grown up and matured [since they were team mates at McLaren in 2007] and our relationship has improved a lot.

“I don’t know if it would help us if they took points from each other; we’ll just focus on our job and try to beat them. Kimi has been driving sensationally well this year, and Fernando has been driving sensationally this year. There’s been talk of us having the strongest driver line-up, but I think that will switch over to them next year.”

And if Alonso were to leave Ferrari and maybe even rejoin McLaren?

“I really couldn’t care. I’m focused on winning here, and it’s a track that I love. It’s so special. It’s like when you do an indoor kart race, but times a million. We should have more night races. It would be great if Monaco could be one.”

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