Jenson Button has announced that he won’t be announcing anything regarding his whereabouts for 2017. The 2009 World Champion is reluctant to have a conversation with McLaren or Williams, and will only speak about his future in September.
The implication of this from Button is that the rumour mill is set to become a rumour factory, followed by development into a rumour foundry before finally evolving into a rumour industry. Button’s decision to put his plans on hold does create a frustrating situation for Stoffel Vandoorne, who is waiting in the wings, and the Williams driver that Button’s ultimate decision may affect.
A move to Williams could prove to be a side-ways step in 2017 anyway, given McLaren’s confidence in their own abilities to optimize the heavy regulation changes set for next year. The British racing veteran had this to say with regards to the speculation,
“It’s all guesswork because nobody has a clue what is going on. Not until I’ve made my mind up on what l do for next year. The team have already said we’re not going to discuss anything until September, so I don’t know why there’s such speculation.
We’ll see then. For now, just trying to enjoy the racing. Hungary will hopefully be better and we can fight for some points.”
– Jenson Button
The Hungarian Grand Prix might go some way in helping Button decide his future. The Hungaroring provides a real technical challenge for the drivers. With little room for overtaking and incredible heat, this will be one of the tougher races on the calendar for driver fatigue. Cars need to be set up to deal with the almost constant ride along the kerbs and also need shorter gears to run smoothly around the slow-mid-speed circuit.
— Channel 4 F1® (@C4F1) July 7, 2016
On paper, the McLaren should benefit from the lack of long straights given its issues with Honda power. The chassis is also one of the best on the field, so McLaren will be disappointed if they come away without both cars finishing in the points.
The upcoming results for the British team may determine whether they can hold on to one of their World Champion drivers.