Jenson Button expects decision on his McLaren future in 'few weeks'
2009 world champion tells Sky Sports he expects talks over whether he stays or goes to be held "over the next few weeks"; Eric Boullier reiterates 'intention' to keep Button/Alonso line-up
By James Galloway
Last Updated: 07/09/15 5:20pm
Jenson Button hopes a decision on whether or not he will stay at McLaren for 2016 will be made within the "next few weeks".
The prospect of McLaren taking up their option on the 35-year-old's services for 2016 appeared to be boosted at Monza as team chief Eric Boullier revealed the Woking team "intends" to retain their all-world champion pairing of Button and Fernando Alonso.
Last year Button only found out he was being retained by the team for 2015 three weeks after the end of the season – but is expecting a far earlier resolution this time around.
"That's something we need to discuss away from the circuit," he told Sky Sports News HQ after another difficult race for McLaren at the Italian GP. "Over the next few weeks, hopefully,"
Asked if he thought his future was in his own hands, he replied: "I think it's always in your hands. So hopefully over the next few weeks we can decide either way."
Amid speculation about what McLaren's likely lowly finishing position in the Constructors' Championship will have on the former champions' finances, Button undoubtedly represents a more expensive option for the team than either of their two young test drivers, Kevin Magnussen and Stoffel Vandoorne.
Boullier, McLaren's racing director, said that several matters needed to be concluded before they were ready to confirm their plans.
"It's what I said this weekend – so far we do intend to keep them," he reiterated to Sky Sports.
"We have to wait now [for] some date, some options and some legal papers, but we do intend [to keep them]. So we'll see."
With Alonso on a three-year deal at Woking, Magnussen, who lost out to Button in his bid to partner the Spaniard this year, revealed at Monza that "a number of Formula 1 teams have reached out to me" and he was ready to race elsewhere on the grid if there isn't a vacancy at McLaren.
Although Button has made clear his desire to extend his McLaren stay, 2015 has proved the team's most uncompetitive in three decades amid chronic problems with their new Honda power unit.
Asked by Sky F1 how he coped with a weekend like Monza, when Alonso and Button were only quicker than backmarkers Manor, Button said: "You don't at times, and I think we've shown that.
"The whole team watch us drive the car, they watch us doing interviews and they need to be positive because it's not easy right now. And for them to be positive we need to be positive. It's the only way for the whole team to move forward and be successful in the future. It could be worse, that's the way you've got to look at it."
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Don't miss the F1 Midweek Report on Wednesday night at 8.30pm when Mark Webber and Jolyon Palmer will join Natalie Pinkham to discuss the Italian GP and F1's big issues.