Button a wanted man, says manager

ALAN BALDWIN


AUSTIN, Texas - Jenson Button is a wanted man, even if McLaren ultimately decides them team does not want to retain the 2009 Formula 1champion for 2015.

The Briton's manager, Richard Goddard, said on Oct 30: "I'm getting phone calls from everybody - he's an exceptional driver, he's still in his prime, everyone wants to hire him. He is a wanted individual.

"I've had loads of different approaches, as you have to expect, from loads of different sports - driving sports obviously... his tennis isn't up to much. We haven't any serious conversations but we'd like to stay in F1 and stay with McLaren, but maybe there will come a point when we are offered something, a great opportunity."

HONDA POWER IN 2015

Button's future is the subject of much speculation, with McLaren strongly linked to Ferrari's double F1 champion Fernando Alonso.

McLaren will switch to Honda engines in 2015 and Alonso is seen as the No.1 target to lead the new partnership on the track despite falling out with McLaren boss Ron Dennis when he last drove for the team in 2007.

In the latest of many such stories, Spanish daily Marca reported on Thursday (Oct 30 2014) that a contract with McLaren was missing only the Spaniard's signature.

Goddard said the team had told him it was in a "holding pattern"; no decision had been made about its 2015 line-up with the future of Danish rookie Kevin Magnussen equally up in the air. He said ahead of the 2014 US F1 GP: "We haven't been told anything apart from they don't know anything. I know that sounds ridiculous but it's not like they've made up their mind on one path or another.

"I'm in regular contact with Ron (Dennis) and there is nothing new. He speaks to me and he says 'I'm really sorry, but we're still in a holding pattern. I know perhaps we shouldn't be, but we are'. That is where we are."

'WHAT HAPPENS, HAPPENS'

There has been speculation that Button could be headed out of F1 and into racing sports cars, something the Briton did not rule out when asked: "Anything is possible in life if you have the right circumstances or the right situation but that has to be there to make it happen."

Button said he had felt "under massive pressure" before the Japanese  F1 GP but since Russia earlier in October he had just focused on enjoying his driving and was far happier. "What happens next year happens," he shrugged.

The Briton has been with McLaren since 2010, the year after he won his championship with Brawn. Eight of his 15 race wins have been with the team, the most recent in Brazil in 2012 in the wet race that gave Sebastian Vettel the championship.

Goddard added: "He is very loyal to this team, loves this team and would like to stay at the team. It's as simple as that. He's not going to drive at a much, much lower level because he wants to win races and championships. He is not interested in making up the numbers, he just wants to win again.

"So, if he is not going to get to win in this championship and he gets offered a fantastic deal somewhere else, then perhaps he'll go somewhere else."

Stay with Wheels24 for the 2014 US GP weekend.

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