Button expected to spearhead McLaren 2013 title bid

Race winner Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren MP4-27 enters parc ferme. Formula One World Championship, Rd12, Belgian Grand Prix, Preparations, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Sunday 2 September 2012.Oct.6 (GMM) Jenson Button believes McLaren will have to look to him to win next year’s Formula One World Championship title.

With Lewis Hamilton leaving for Mercedes, Button – due to contest his fourth season at McLaren next year – will be paired with the young Mexican Sergio Perez.

Before Hamilton decided to leave McLaren, Button had said that he hoped the 2008 world champion would stay in 2013.

Now facing the prospect of sharing a garage with 22-year-old current Sauber driver Perez, he said at Suzuka: “Having just one experienced person in the team does change things but [that’s] is something I love.

“I’m not underestimating him [Perez],” Button insisted. “He is inexperienced compared with Lewis and it will be his first year, but he will still be quick.

“There should be more consistency in his speed the following year but I will definitely be the person McLaren turn to if they want a world champion next year.”

Button admits he is “very surprised” that Hamilton chose Mercedes over McLaren for his future.

“Because every season you race for this team you win grands prix,” he explained.

“We all have different challenges and things we want to achieve. He wants to try something new.”

F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone told the Express newspaper: “Lewis wanted out of McLaren because he felt unhappy there.

“He spoke to me and I told him he should go where he felt he would feel good if he could make a deal that suited him.”

Subbed by AJN.

  • pacaud

    Having the best number 2 driver in the sport as you lead driver is pure midfield heaven. Whitmarsh removed the last Ron Dennis thorn in his side. Why would he want to turn mighty Macca in to BAR/Honda II?!