Jenson Button has ruled out moving to another team in Formula 1 for 2016 should he part company with McLaren at the end of the season.
Button, 35, has endured a difficult year with McLaren following the team’s switch to Honda power units, limiting him to just six points from the opening 12 rounds of the season.
McLaren is known to have an option on Button’s services for 2016, and could opt to replace him with either of its outstanding junior talents, Kevin Magnussen or Stoffel Vandoorne.
Speaking to reporters in Singapore ahead of this weekend’s race, Button said that if he is racing in F1 next year, it will only be with McLaren and not with another team.
“If I am in F1, it will be with this team,” Button said. “I have had some tough times with this team, but I have a lot of respect for the whole team and Honda.
“This is the team for the future and I don’t think there is any point at looking at a smaller, younger start-up programme. To be fair to this team, it is very young still in terms of our relationship with Honda and powerplant itself. This will improve a lot over the years.”
Button hinted that his future is largely in his hands, saying that the situation differs from that of 2015 when McLaren waited until December before confirming that he would be retained.
“I think it’s massively different to last year,” Button said. “I think everyone’s learned from last year being a bit of a mess.
“I’m very happy with what I’ve done this year and I think the team are as well. It’s not what you might think. Hopefully the fans understand, whatever happens.”
Button has enjoyed a successful career in F1, with the highlight being his drivers’ championship victory with Brawn GP back in 2009.
However, he may decide that another year of struggle with McLaren and Honda is not worthwhile and opt to retire, with a move into the FIA World Endurance Championship being a possible next step.