Button meets with McLaren
McLaren have confirmed that Jenson Button was given a tour of their Woking factory on Friday.
Last Updated: 14/11/09 1:04pm
McLaren have confirmed that Jenson Button was given a tour of their Woking factory on Friday, prompting fevered speculation that he is on the verge of leaving Brawn to become Lewis Hamilton's new team-mate.
According to The Guardian, Button and his manager Richard Goddard were shown around the facility by McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh on Friday afternoon and 'a contract could be signed as early as next week if terms can be finalised, creating the first team with two world champions competing alongside each other since Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost were team-mates at McLaren in 1989.'
A spokesman for McLaren told the newspaper that "having just arrived at Heathrow, Jenson made a small detour to Woking to say hello" while The Daily Mail claims that talks between the two parties continued well past closing time for the factory and were described as "very positive."
Brawn GP, though, are not out of the loop as Goddard has also talking to the team about a new deal for 2010 but as yet nothing has been agreed.
Goddard added: "As I've said many times before, Jenson wants to drive a car which is capable of winning the next World Championship.
"We've been talking about possible terms for 2010 with Brawn for months and we're not being difficult or unreasonably expensive in our demands for Jenson.
"In fact we've given up quite a lot of negotiating ground in our discussions with them.
"I think it's also important that Jenson wants to feel valued in whatever situation he finds himself next season."
However, Button is not the only potential McLaren driver who has visited Woking in recent weeks. Early this week, Kimi Raikkonen's management team went to McLaren's Technology Centre as guests of team boss Martin Whitmarsh.
Yet, according to The Guardian, 'It is understood that Button has moved to the top of McLaren's wish-list over the past couple of months, with Whitmarsh and his fellow directors impressed by his tenacity in regaining his form to round off the season with two outstanding drives in the Brazilian and Abu Dhabi grands prix.
'McLaren have made Raikkonen their second choice if the Button approach fails, with Nick Heidfeld third favourite.'