MONZA Italy (Reuters) - Jenson Button has dismissed speculation about his Formula One future and declared himself ‘massively relaxed’ about next season.
The 2009 world champion’s current contract with McLaren expires at the end of the year and the team have yet to announce their lineup for 2015, when they are starting a new partnership with Honda.
Button, the most experienced driver on the starting grid, has been with McLaren since 2010 and this year has Danish rookie Kevin Magnussen as his team mate.
McLaren boss Ron Dennis, who has reportedly been making overtures to Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso and Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel, recently fueled speculation about Button by saying he was keeping an eye out for other top drivers who might become available.
Alonso has, however, said that he wants to extend his Ferrari contract beyond 2016 while Vettel is also tied to champions Red Bull for 2015 and has indicated he is not about to move.
“My situation has not changed. I am happy where I am,” Vettel told reporters at Monza. “But you never know what is happening in the future. Right now, I don’t feel the need to do something different.”
Asked ahead of Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix whether he felt relaxed about 2015, Button replied emphatically: “Massively relaxed.”
The Briton played down a recent television interview in which he had appeared to acknowledge that there was a possibility he could be facing retirement.
”If I‘m not racing at the end of the season, so be it. I can’t do much about that,“ he grinned. ”But it’s not that I‘m getting ready because I definitely don’t want to retire for many years.
“But when you’re asked the question so many times you’ve got to say something different else it gets boring. Not for you guys, but for me it gets boring. I‘m SO bored of answering the same questions.”
Button, who made his debut with Williams in 2000 and is now 34, said he had heard a lot of nonsense in his time when it came to the driver market.
“Initially it’s annoying, but then you’re like ‘You know what, I’ve been here before, been in this situation before, heard it before’,” he said.
“So you just get on with your job, and I love racing in Formula One. Every time I jump in a car I do the best job I can - and it doesn’t matter who it’s for or where it is - I do the best for myself, the team and the fans.”
Frenchman Romain Grosjean, who drives for Lotus but has also been linked to other teams including McLaren, suggested that Alonso held the key to opening up the driver market but Button scoffed at that.
“That surprised me, actually,” he said. “I don’t really think he’s the key to the driver market. The two McLaren drivers are probably the key to the driver market, I would say.”
Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Pritha Sarkar