Jenson Button commits to McLaren with 'multi-year' deal

Jenson Button has committed his future to McLaren by signing what the team say is a "multi-year contract".

The Englishman's contract was due to expire at the end of next year but the two parties had been discussing a new long-term deal.

Button, 31, said: "I've never felt more at home at a team than I do at McLaren.

"I've won four of the greatest races of my life here, I'm currently lying second in the drivers' championship and I feel I'm driving better than ever."

Heading into this weekend's Japanese Grand Prix, Button is the only driver with a mathematical chance of depriving Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel of a second consecutive world title.

However, it is a long shot in the extreme - Button would have to win all five remaining races with the German not scoring a single point for the McLaren driver to win a second title.

Button has attracted interest from other teams - Ferrari are among the outfits known to be considering him - but he has preferred to stick with McLaren.

"I truly believe that the passion and determination to win are stronger here at McLaren than anywhere else," he said.

"As a grand prix driver, those are incredibly powerful feelings to share and be part of, and they've only reinforced my desire to commit my long-term future to this team.

"I've made no secret of my ambition to continue winning races and world championships, and I fully believe this is the place where I can achieve those aims.

"We know how to win, and we're busy refining an organisation that will enable us to keep on doing that for years to come."

Button is 17 points ahead of team-mate Lewis Hamilton in the championship after an impressive run since winning the Hungarian Grand Prix at the end of July.

Hamilton, who is contracted to McLaren until the end of next season, has welcomed Button's decision to stay on.

"It's great news that Jenson has chosen to stay," Hamilton said in a team statement.

"Jenson has been a great person to work with, and a genuine team-player, from the moment we welcomed him on board.

"Jenson and I are as hungry and as ambitious as ever to win races and world championships in the future."

Team principal Martin Whitmarsh added: "Jenson is a great driver and a great guy.

"In fact, I can safely say that he's one of the most capable and respected drivers we've ever had, and I'm therefore absolutely delighted that he'll continue to work with us into the future.

"I feel sure that he'll now build on the considerable success he's already achieved with us, and will be even more successful with us in years to come."

McLaren technical director Paddy Lowe said Button's presence in the team would be "crucial" to their success in the next few years.

"Having a good driver with good feedback is essential in F1," Lowe said.

"Even though these days we have more simulations, we're still very reliant on the driver's feedback and his responses to the changes we make, and indeed his suggestions for changes.

"So having Jenson on board for years to come is a great step for us because it gives us a very solid base in terms of a driver we can rely on for feedback."