Jenson Button is joining McLaren F1 from next season to drive alongside former world champion Lewis Hamilton.
There has been plenty of speculation surrounding where F1 World Champion Jenson Button will drive for 2010. A visit by Button to McLaren in Woking last week fuelled that speculation, and the announcement that Brawn GP is to become Mercedes GP after selling out to the German car maker did, in many ways, make the move more likely.
Which makes it no huge surprise that it has now been confirmed that Jenson Button will drive alongside Lewis Hamilton for McLaren from next year, ending a seven year association with Honda/Brawn GP. The move puts the reigning world champion alongside his predecessor. The last time that happened – also with McLaren – was when Senna and Prost had a battle Royal in 1988.
Although unconfirmed, we hear that the deal is a three year, £18 million package. Which in some ways is a surprise, as Hamilton is believed to be on more. But there is no doubt that if Button can replicate his world championship in 2010 he will be in line for a big payday on top of the agreement.
McLaren have a reputation for letting their drivers battle it out for supremacy – case in point being the Senna-Prost battle. So its seems likely that it will be a head-to-head fight between two world champions for dominance on the track and within the team. Hamilton is well ensconced at McLaren, but Jenson’s laid-back demeanour may well make it easy for him to fit in to the team. But there is the possibility of acrimony, which would only add to the appeal of F1 next year.
Now we wait and see who will join Nico Rosberg at Mercedes GP.
Update: We now have the Button joins McLaren Press Release.