Button signs long-term new McLaren deal

    England's Jenson Button won the world championship as a Brawn GP driver in 2009.

    Story highlights

    • Jenson Button signs a new multi-year contract with British F1 team McLaren
    • Button arrived at McLaren from Brawn GP after winning 2009 world title
    • The 31-year-old Englishman is second in the 2011 drivers' standings
    • Teammate Lewis Hamilton welcomes news of Button staying
    British Formula One driver Jenson Button committed his future to McLaren on Wednesday by signing a new multi-year contract.
    The 2009 world champion has been with the England-based team since 2010, and is second in this year's drivers' standings behind Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel.
    "Jenson's re-signing is a move that will strengthen McLaren's long-term stability as it continues to grow and develop its race-winning form into further world championship successes," read a McLaren statement, which did not reveal the length of Button's contract.
    Button has raced for seven different teams since entering F1 in 2000, but the 31-year-old said he has never felt more at home than he does with McLaren.
    "I've won four of the greatest races of my life here, I'm currently lying second in the drivers' world championship, and I feel that I'm driving better than ever," said Button, who has won two grands prix in 2011.‪
    "You can only achieve that with the right level of support -- and I truly believe that the passion and determination to win are stronger here at McLaren than anywhere else."
    "As a grand prix driver, those are incredibly powerful feelings to share and be part of ... I've made no secret of my ambition to continue winning races and world championships, and I fully believe this is the place where I can achieve those aims."
    Team principal Marin Whitmarsh was delighted Button had decided to sign a new deal, and spoke of his pride at working with the former Brawn GP driver.
    "I can safely say that he's one of the most capable and respected drivers we've ever had," Whitmarsh said. "I'm therefore absolutely delighted that he'll continue to work with us into the future.‪
    "He's a considerable credit to this organization, and I'm proud to be his team principal."
    Button's compatriot and teammate Lewis Hamilton echoed Whitmarsh's sentiments, while outlining the team's desire to achieve success together in the future.
    "It's great news that Jenson has chosen to stay with McLaren," said 2008 world champion Hamilton, who is fifth in the standings this year.
    "It was the best moment of my career when I won the drivers' world championship with this team. Jenson and I are as hungry and as ambitious as ever to win races and world championships in the future."
    Both Button and Hamilton will be on the grid for the Japanese Grand Prix on October 9, where 2010 champion Vettel needs just one point to become the youngest double winner of the drivers' title in F1 history.