McLaren has admitted it will take a quick decision over the future of Jenson Button. Last year, the 2009 world champion faced a long and ignominious wait for news about his fate for 2015, declaring at Monza last weekend that he has told Ron Dennis an earlier decision should be made for next season.
"There is obviously a date for the option on Jenson and we know that we will not wait for the end of the year this time," team boss Eric Boullier told F1's official website. It is believed the 2016 'option' runs out at the end of September. Earlier, at Monza, Boullier was asked if Honda will have a say in who Fernando Alonso's 2016 teammate will be.
Last year, it was believed the McLaren-Honda camp was split down the middle over retaining Button or giving the other seat to either Kevin Magnussen or fellow young charger Stoffel Vandoorne. "We will discuss it with Honda of course," Boullier said, "but in the end McLaren will decide."
Mark Webber, the F1 veteran who now enjoys the world of Le Mans prototype racing, thinks 35-year-old Button should consider a change of scene. "To know he's going into a race and has no chance is mentally very difficult," the popular Australian told BBC radio.
"I'd love to see him try something different, try sports cars. I get frustrated watching his situation. I want to see him in a competitive car but is that going to happen next year? Unlikely. JB, the type of guy he is, gutsy and a dark horse, he would love the environment where it's a little less tense," added Webber. (GMM)
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing