McLaren-Honda have announced today that after much speculation, Jenson Button will remain with the team in next year’s 2016 Formula One World Championship. The British driver admitted that he had been unsure if he would continue before deciding to stay with the team.
“Over the past month or so I have done quite a lot of thinking, and it is no secret that I was at one point in two minds about my future,” said Button.
“But I have been a McLaren driver for six seasons now, and in that time I have got to know [McLaren CEO] Ron [Dennis] very well. He and I have had some very good chats these past few weeks, and during those chats it has become clear to me that Ron is both utterly determined and uniquely equipped to lead our team through its current difficulties to great successes in the future.
“That gives me great confidence, and it is for that reason that, together, he and I have decided to continue our partnership; and, as soon as I had made that decision, straight away I realised it was the correct one.”
It is not yet 100% confirmed as to whether or not Jenson will be partnered by his current team-mate Fernando Alonso; who has made no bones about his growing frustrations with the competitive Honda engine. He made his frustrations public during Honda’s home race in Japan last weekend by calling the car a GP2 engine. Should he leave, McLaren have both Stoffel Vandoorne and Kevin Magnussen available to step into the car in his place; although rumours are circulating in Magnussen’s home country of Denmark that he is no longer in a contract with the team.
Additionally, it has also been confirmed today that the Manor F1 Team will be supplied engines next year by Mercedes; a great deal for the team who will receive the best engines in the sport at this time.
Managing director of Mercedes Andy Cowell confirmed the news today by announcing that Manor would be one of four teams on the grid with their engines; including the works Mercedes team. This is likely to also include Force India and Williams, with current Mercedes powered team Lotus set to be bought out by Renault for next season.
Manor team principal John Booth is excited to see what the incredible Mercedes power-units can do for the team next season,
“Although there were many factors governing our selection of an engine partner to help power us towards our long-term ambitions, ultimately the strength of the Mercedes-Benz package speaks for itself,” he said, “2015 has been a rebuilding year in every aspect of our operation. Although we have not been able to make the incremental strides in competitiveness that the team has enjoyed in previous seasons, we have put in place a strong foundation from which to progress.”
“Together with the potential we are seeing with our 2016 car in the wind tunnel, the Mercedes-Benz power unit will assist our return to aggressive performance development with effect from next season.”
Manor’s deal with Mercedes is said to be opening the door for current DTM championship leader and Mercedes reserve driver Pascal Wehrlein to make his F1 debut next year. The German has driven for both Mercedes and Force India in test sessions throughout the year and has shown impressive pace.