It looks like the whole hoo-ha over Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso’s futures were over nothing as both are set to remain with McLaren.
The build-up to the Japanese Grand Prix was dominated by talk that Button would announce his retirement from Formula 1 ahead of the race at Suzuka, but the 2009 World Champion dismissed the reports, saying journalists took his comments out of proportion.
However, McLaren CEO Jonathan Neale told reporters that they are trying to convince the Briton to stay but “if your driver doesn’t really want to be in the seat we have to respect that”.
Meanwhile, Alonso’s future was also thrown into the air with former Renault team boss Flavio Briatore admitting that “if he cannot get a winning car in F1 then he will find it elsewhere”.
But it looks like Alonso and Button will stay with McLaren next year with the Woking team’s chief executive Ron Dennis saying they both have contracts.
“We have two drivers,” Dennis told BBC One. “We want both of them in the team and it is as simple as that. We will have a winning team.”
He added: “Jenson is on a two-year contract and Fernando on a three-year contract. It’s as simple as that.
“I told Jenson on Thursday – probably too late – that I have no intention of exercising the option [to cancel his contract].”
Alonso also added: “Next year is what we are looking for. My intention is to stay for sure and we will win together, I’m sure.”