Record-breaking Jenson Button vows he can still drive McLaren-Honda forward in 2015
Exclusive interview with 2009 World Champ to be shown in Sunday's race show on Sky F1 as Jenson becomes most experienced Brit in F1
By Sky Sports Online
Last Updated: 22/11/13 3:51pm
Despite being poised to break David Coulthard's record of most grands prix starts by a British driver this weekend at Interlagos, Button still has his eyes firmly set on the future as he prepares for his 247th start in F1.
Button drove for Honda's eponymous team for three seasons before winning the Drivers' World Championship in 2009 with the rebranded Brawn outfit and is determined to still be a driving force in the sport when Honda renew their vows with McLaren for the 2015 campaign.
"I'm enjoying racing at the moment, there's no stress on my shoulders. I've definitely got a lot to give for when Honda come back, a lot of experience and I think it would be a great partnership and we can do a lot together," the 33-year-old told Sky Sports F1 in an exclusive interview which will be broadcast as part of the channel's race-day coverage of the Brazilian GP on Sunday.
With McLaren making little secret of their desire to reunite with Fernando Alonso for 2015, Button's hopes of extending his F1 career into a fifteenth year may be determined by the result of his looming intra-team battle with Dane Magnussen.
Yet such is the complicated dynamics and relationships of a team sport driven by competing individuals, Button knows that he could face a repeat of McLaren's 2013 annus horribilis unless he offers the 21-year-old rookie a helping hand as he settles into the seat being vacated by Sergio Perez.
"I have to be prepared to help him because that will help me," explained Button to Sky F1's Martin Brundle. "If he gets out of the car in the winter and says 'it's alright', that doesn't help me in the slightest.
"He will drive as many days over the winter as I will so he has to have an understanding of what to do with an F1 car. There's much more you can do with a car in F1 than in the series he has just raced in so he needs to be able to get up to speed as quickly as possible. He seems very fast and quick at learning which is great because I need to have someone who has great feedback and someone who I can trust."
McLaren last threw a rookie into the deep end of F1 in 2007 when a debutant by the name of Lewis Hamilton was selected to partner Fernando Alonso - then the reigning World Champion - but Button, who has previously described the appointment of the 21-year-old as "a massive risk", says there is no guarantee Magnussen will prevail.
"I know how excited he's going to be. Your first grand prix is going to be in a McLaren - not many people get that opportunity. Lewis obviously did, and he made good use of that. It could easily go the other way but hopefully Kevin is headstrong enough that it will work out well for him.
"It will be interesting to see how he fares and I will definitely learn something from the new kid again."