Jenson Button says he is “absolutely raring to go” after being confirmed by McLaren for 2015, adding he is confident he “will work extremely well” with Fernando Alonso.
Just weeks ago Button’s Formula 1 career appeared to be over with reports suggesting that McLaren would opt for a Fernando Alonso-Kevin Magnussen driver line-up.
However, the Woking squad confirmed on Thursday that the 2009 World Champion will partner the Spaniard next season while the team also welcomes back Honda as their engine supplier.
“I am extremely excited to be embarking on my 16th year in Formula 1 and my sixth season for McLaren,” the 34-year-old said.
“Like Fernando, I am certain that McLaren and Honda will achieve great things together, and I feel sure that, working together, all of us will pull incredibly hard to create a brilliantly effective winning team.
“I admired Ayrton Senna enormously, but, for me, it was the exploits of his McLaren-Honda team-mate Alain Prost that inspired me most as a boy. The way he stroked those beautifully brutal red-and-white cars to grand prix wins and world championships was to my mind poetry in motion, and I have tried to emulate his driving style ever since.
“Being a part of new-look McLaren-Honda is a wonderful opportunity for all of us, and I am very pleased to have been invited to do my bit. In fact, I am absolutely raring to go.”
It means there is no race seat for rookie Magnussen, but the Dane will stay with McLaren after being appointed test and reserve driver.
As for his partnership with Alonso, Button feels they will get on very well.
“I am also very glad that Kevin will remain part of the team. He is a very quick driver and a really nice guy,” he said.
“Looking forward, I know the Honda guys well, having driven Formula 1 cars powered by their engines from 2003 to 2008. I have a huge amount of respect and admiration for them, and promise to give 100% to make their partnership with McLaren a success.
“Last but far from least, I am very much looking forward to having a driver as fast and as experienced as Fernando as my team-mate. I am sure we will work extremely well together.”