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.

Marco Andretti confident that fewer tests won’t hurt Andretti Autosport

Photo: IndyCar
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A small point of debate around the 2018 aero kit has been the manufacturer test days that took place through the Fall of 2017 and into the beginning of 2018. Chiefly, the debate has centered around teams who hadn’t participated in those manufacturer test days and if they’re starting the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season at a disadvantage as a result.

Team Penske, Ed Carpenter Racing, and A.J. Foyt Racing completed test days for Chevrolet, with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and Chip Ganassi Racing doing so for Honda.

That left teams like Andretti Autosport out of the mix, with some voicing concerns as a result.

However, in a press conference during testing at ISM Raceway last weekend, Marco Andretti explained that he thinks Andretti Autosport should be able to catch up on development, citing the team’s resources – they’re the only IndyCar team with four full-time cars in their stable – and the fact that everyone is still adapting to the new kit.

“I feel like it’s early enough days that, yes, we can catch up,” Andretti said at ISM Raceway. “When there is anything new, a new car, new aero kit, at-track days are huge. We can sim all these things we want. To really get out there and confirm what we’re learning back at the shop is another thing.”

Ryan Hunter-Reay during testing at ISM Raceway. Photo: IndyCar

Andretti continued, “Yeah, I don’t think we should look at it like we’re behind the eight ball. With a four-car team, that’s where we can use it to our benefit. So far so good.”

Teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay, echoed Andretti’s sentiments, adding that while the situation is not perfect, they will need to adapt to it in order to remain competitive.

“Any time you have a new car, to put it into perspective, we’re on track three days on a road course before we get to (the season open in St. Petersburg). That’s a very short amount of time. It’s obviously not ideal, but we’re just going to lace up our boots and get on with it. That’s all you can do.”

Andretti Autosport will have one more team test, at Sebring International Raceway later on in February, before the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

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