McLaren want their drivers for long term

(L to R): Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren with team mate Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren on the drivers parade. Formula One World Championship, Rd 2, Malaysian Grand Prix, Race Day, Sepang, Malaysia, Sunday 10 April 2011.

Jenson Button with Lewis Hamilton

Apr.14 (GMM) Martin Whitmarsh thinks McLaren’s current driver lineup – of Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton – could be in place for another five years.

2011 is former world champions Button and Hamilton’s second season together at the British team, but Hamilton has recently been linked with a move to Red Bull.

“We have had some long driver relationships but I hope this one goes on for many more years,” said team boss Whitmarsh, referring to Button and Hamilton.

“Jenson’s got inner peace, he enjoys Formula 1, has a passion for it and for as long as he is competitive he will want to continue. There’s no reason from a physiological point of view he can’t be around at McLaren for another five years at least,” he said.

Whitmarsh said the pair is fiercely competitive but also friendly, “Jenson’s got another five years in him if he wants it. Lewis has got another ten years in F1,” he insisted.