Button says his future is with McLaren

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Jenson Button dismissed rumors he could leave McLaren at the end of the year and said he had only been “winding up” McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh by pointing out his contract for next year remained unsigned.

“That was very unfair of me, but I was just stating a fact,” Button told the BBC. “I’ll be here for my future in Formula One.”

McLaren have had a poor start to the season and are yet to finish on the podium so far this year. But Button said the setback won’t jeopardize his future with the team.

“It’s obviously not going our way at the moment, but it will and I’m very happy here,” he said. “I still feel we can achieve so much together.”

Martin Whitmarsh raised questions over McLaren’s future driver line-up when he publicly praised Kimi Raikkonen and admitted there were talks last year about Raikkonen returning to his former team.

Button joined McLaren in 2010 after winning the drivers’ championship for Brawn the year before. He finished runner-up to Sebastian Vettel in the 2011 season and has won eight races for McLaren so far.

However he is yet to finish higher than fifth in the problematic MP4-28 so far this year.

Video highlights from Sunday’s Dakar Rally Stage 8: Bikes, Cars, Quads, Trucks

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Sunday’s Stage 8 of the Dakar Rally brought the race into the final country it will compete in, Argentina.

Monday’s Stage 9 was cancelled after bad weather made course conditions impassible for racing. Stage 10 picks up Tuesday morning. The overall Rally ends Saturday.

Here’s some of Sunday’s key video highlights:

BIKES

Antoine Meo wins Stage 8.

QUADS 

Simon Vitse wins Stage 8.

CARS

Stephane Peterhansel wins Stage 8.

TRUCKS

Dmitry Sotnikov wins Stage 8.