<
>

Ron Dennis says Jenson Button is contracted to McLaren for 2016

Mark Thompson/Getty Images

Ron Dennis says McLaren decided last week that it wanted to exercise its option to keep Jenson Button at the team.

Speculation in the British press suggested Button would announce his retirement this weekend at the Japanese Grand Prix, but the 2009 world champion has remained tight lipped about his future. McLaren has made it increasingly clear that it wants to keep Button at the team and Dennis said his driver was informed of the board's decision last week.

"Jenson has a two-year contract," Dennis told media in the Suzuka paddock. "As I said earlier to your colleagues, I should have taken away any doubt about our commitment to him earlier than I did. I didn't speak to him until Thursday, but at the end of the day it would have been more constructive if he'd known that I had no intention of exercising our option to terminate him. We didn't put it in there to exercise it and we didn't.

"These sorts of decisions are not mine and mine alone, we need consensus from the shareholders and once I had consensus I informed Jenson formally. I could have done it a couple of days earlier, but I didn't think it would be an issue."

Dennis suspects the uncertainty surrounding Button has been fuelled by a lack of communication between driver and team about their plans for 2016.

"I think the position he found himself in was, like any relationship, that you need to know the other party wants you. It's the same in a human relationship or any sort of partnership and I took that doubt away because I don't think it was constructive."