McLaren vs Ferrari begin Button tug-of-war
20 June, 2011
Jun.20 (GMM) McLaren is willing to give their driver Jenson Button a pay rise to stop him defecting to Ferrari as replacement to Felipe Massa, which could lead into a tug-of-war between the two most succesful teams in Formula 1 history.
The Daily Mail said the British team is taking up the 2012 option on Button “but are so happy with his performances” that in the next few weeks McLaren is “likely to offer him an extended deal on improved terms”, adding that McLaren is “ready to hand Button a pay rise”.
The 2009 world champion revealed last week that the Woking based team he joined last season “has an option on me for next year”.
At the same time Button said he is reluctant to agree a new long-term deal, despite boss Martin Whitmarsh admitting he would “quickly” ink a new multi-year contract with the former Honda and Brawn GP driver.
The latest twist in the story was a Ferrari source telling the News of the World newspaper that the Maranello outfit has “checked” with Button’s management to see when the Englishmanis available to take over Massa’s cockpit.