And now Button is linked with Renault


Jenson Button is reportedly top of the Renault shortlist for a race seat next year following the company's decision to buy a controlling stake in Lotus.

The McLaren driver's future has been the subject of much discussion in recent weeks, and there were suggestions that he would announce his retirement from Formula 1 in Japan over the weekend.

However, such an announcement did not take place, while McLaren chief Ron Dennis indicated that the Briton would remain with the troubled Woking team next season, despite the two parties being locked in a contract dispute.

When asked about Dennis' remarks, Button refused to comment on the assertions that he would stay with McLaren.

"That's his choice," he said, "but I'm not going to comment on something that I don't know the future of."

Button added: "It's a private matter that shouldn't be publicised. It's not the right time to say anything because nothing is done."

Elsewhere on the grid, French manufacturer Renault announced on Monday that they plan to buy a controlling stake in the financially embattled Lotus team with the intention of setting up their own works outfit next season.

Following these developments, Button has been linked with a seat at the new team. The 2009 World Champion is a familiar face to Renault, having raced for the French outfit in 2001 (then Benetton) and 2002.

According to the Mirror, "Bosses have already drawn up a shortlist of drivers they are keen on and Button is at the top of it. Renault advisor Alain Prost is known to be a fan of the British ace."