Jenson Button has played down increasing speculation about his future in F1.
The sport’s most experienced active driver is out of contract at the end of 2014, but McLaren boss Eric Boullier said recently he thinks a new deal for the 34-year-old is likely.
That may not be right. Britain’s Times and Daily Mail newspapers are reporting the real likelihood that next weekend’s Silverstone race could be Button’s last ever British grand prix.
With McLaren’s works Honda era beginning next year, and the Woking based team needing to shine after two disappointing seasons, champions including Fernando Alonso, Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton are all being linked with the team for 2015.
McLaren supremo Ron Dennis is said to be masterminding the talks with that high-profile trio, but he insisted in Austria: “We are not looking to finalise our driver line-up now.”
But a source told the Daily Mail that Button is “a tenth or two” shy of McLaren’s list of 2015 favourites.
The driver, however, thinks McLaren will eventually want to sign a new deal.
“I don’t know why they wouldn’t,” said Button. “It is just the way it is for a big team — we will leave it to the last moment to make a decision or to talk about contracts.
“It is not something I have pushed,” he explained. “I am sure if pushed to sit down and talk about it, we would, but I am not pushing because when it happens it happens.” (GMM)