Button not yet ready to discuss a new McLaren deal

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Jenson Button may be one of the oldest drivers on the grid, but he has no plans to retire just yet and is keen on staying at McLaren despite his contract expiring at the end of the season.

The 2009 world champion joined McLaren at the beginning of 2010, and has enjoyed some success with the British team, finishing as the runner-up in the 2011 championship behind Sebastian Vettel.

He is confident of remaining with the team in 2015 – the first year of its Honda partnership – but believes that it is not yet time to discuss a new contract.

“We’re here, we’ve spent four good years together already,” Button explained in Canada. “We both want to work together in the future but it’s just not time yet [to talk about a contract]. Not the right time.

“We have a lot of other issues to solve first before we start thinking about the future too much. We’re in a good place and y’know, I think my experience does help me a lot.”

Button turned 34 in January, and is one of the oldest drivers on the grid. However, he still feels that he can still fight at the very front in the next few years despite the new generation of racers coming through the ranks.

“I still feel very young at heart, fitter than ever and I have all that experience,” he said. “I’m in a great position and I feel I’ve got a lot more to give in the future in Formula 1. I definitely can’t see an end to my career. This is my life and where I want to be in the future.”

With speculation linking Fernando Alonso to McLaren refusing to go away, the Briton’s future will undoubtedly come under scrutiny at a number of times this season. However, his relationship with the team shows no signs of souring, and still looks set to lead it into a new era with Honda engines in 2015.

Josef Newgarden wins pole for Grand Prix of Alabama

Photo by Robert Reiners/Getty Images
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With time running off the clock, Josef Newgarden lapped Barber Motorsports Park with a speed of 122.773 mph to win his third career pole and first on this track in the Grand Prix of Alabama.

Newgarden has two previous wins at Barber. He won last year’s edition of this race after starting seventh and in 2015 from fifth.

Fast 12

Josef Newgarden topped this chart with a speed of 123.475 mph.

He brought Will Power, James Hinchcliffe, Scott Dixon, Ryan Hunter-Reay, and Sebastien Bourdais along with him to the Fast 6.

Marco Andretti (122.480 mph), Alexander Rossi (122.216), Simon Pagenaud (122.050), Robert Wickens (122.042), Zach Veach (121.784) and Ed Jones (120.984) failed to advance.

Round 1, Group 1

Newgarden posted the fastest single lap in round one, group one of qualification for the Grand Prix of Alabama with a speed of 122.550 mph.

Hunter-Reay, Hinchcliffe, Wickens, and Andretti also advance to the fast 12.

Taking the final slot was Jones with a speed of 119.835 after an off-course excursion in final practice.

This was Andretti’s first advancement to the fast 12 for the first time since 2014.

Round 1, Group 2

Power had the fastest lap of 121.570 mph

Bourdais, Veach (who is battling food poisoning-like symptoms), Rossi, and Pagenaud grabbed positions 2-4.

Scott Dixon had an uncharacteristically slow lap of 121.006, but managed to advance to the fast 12 when the session was red-flagged for an incident involving Tony Kanaan.

With three minutes remaining, Kanaan spun into the tire barriers while leaving pit road. Since he brought out the red flag, he lost his qualification time of 119.996 mph.

Takuma Sato had slipped off-course midway through the session and posted only the Ninth-fastest speed of 120.789 mph.