Jenson Button, Brawn GP, McLaren and Mercedes are making life complicated for Formula 1 followers. Let’s try to run through it.
Button ostensibly wants to stay with Brawn GP, but with a bigger pay packet than Ross Brawn is seemingly willing to pay – though Brawn has said that Button could get some personal sponsorship to top it up. It seems like it’s not about that for Button though: it’s about feeling “valued”.
And that’s why last week Button paid a very open visit to McLaren, who are reported to be increasingly keen on Button, because of his late-season rediscovery of form. Conversely, it’s the trouble he had earlier in the second half of the season which is reportedly being used against him by Brawn. Interpretation is everything.
Accepted opinion is that Button should stay at Brawn GP rather than partner Lewis Hamilton, who would very possibly outperform him. Brawn is a clever man, and I can’t see him paying more than he wants to. Button seems like the one with more to lose in the long term, even if McLaren could be more lucrative in the immediate future.
One problem for Button is that Brawn GP and McLaren have another important matter to distract them: Mercedes. Lord knows what’s going on there. Mercedes has contractual obligations with McLaren for the next couple of years, but rumours of taking a hefty stake in Brawn GP are not going away. Fortunately, there are no suggestions that the Mercedes situation has any direct impact on driver choice.
But how long is this going to go on for? I’d imagine that it’ll all be clear within a month or so, simply because everyone will want to get on with preparations for next season in the new year. But hey, Formula 1 hasn’t exactly been predictable of late, has it?
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