Sir Jackie Stewart and David Coulthard
have advised their British countryman to stay put rather than accept a bigger-money offer from McLaren, where 2008 world champion Lewis Hamilton is regarded the unofficial number 1 driver.
The Daily Telegraph said Button, 29, has been assured equal billing, but Martin Brundle – who drove for the team in 1994 – told BBC radio on Tuesday: “In the past they (McLaren) have had a history of really being able to only fully support one driver.”
Former commentator Murray Walker was quoted in a Reuters news report as saying he is “not sure that Button could keep up with” Hamilton, while Johnny Herbert told The Sun that the all-British pairing will be “like the adopted son (Button) going up against the prodigal son (Hamilton)”.
Ferrari driver Felipe Massa, who will be paired with Fernando Alonso in 2010, was also asked about Button’s potential move to McLaren in between practicing this week for the Granja Viana kart race in Sao Paulo.
He is quoted as saying by globo.com: “I have read about the negotiations but I cannot speak about it as if it is certain.
“If it happens, it will be an excellent pairing,” added Massa