Jenson Button will next year earn the full $18 million promised to him in his existing contract. The pay dispute between the 2009 world champion - who was contractually guaranteed a $6 million pay-rise ahead of the second year of the deal - and team supremo Ron Dennis was reportedly central to Button's recent deliberations over his future.
And, with McLaren set to take a financial hit with the potential loss of sponsors and significant official prize income, Dennis did not even hide that he tried to re-negotiate Button's deal. "I'm a businessman and I did explore that between him and I," said the 68-year-old. "But that's my job."
Separately, Dennis told the British broadcaster Sky that despite the team's 2015 struggle on track, McLaren will cope financially in 2016, especially after agreeing the new sponsor deal with Chandon and having other potential backers "in the pipeline". "We are in a pretty unique position," he said. "Most people are paying significant sums for engines, it is the way you construct your budget that is important and we have more than enough to be competitive." (GMM)
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing