Button to Renault? (Update)

UPDATE (GMM) McLaren has rubbished the theory that Jenson Button is weighing up a move to Renault next year to replace the Haas-departed Romain Grosjean.

"This article is nonsense," a spokesman for the struggling Honda-powered team told us, after the speculation of a switch to Enstone for Button did the rounds.

Clearly, however, the threads of the story are all present.

Button and Ron Dennis are openly disputing whether a deal for 2016 is in place, Button says he only wants to be in F1 if he is "competitive", and managing director Jonathan Neale said in Japan that McLaren would "respect" Button's desire to go.

But Speed Week quoted Button as saying: "After so many years together, it would feel wrong to go somewhere else.

"If I am in formula one in 2016, it will be with McLaren-Honda," he insisted.

09/29/15

Button to ditch McLaren Honda for Renault?

(GMM) Renault's 'letter of intent' has given Lotus ten more weeks to finalize the sale of the embattled Enstone team.

Mere hours before Lotus faced London's high court on Monday, Renault announced that it is now committed to completing the deal "in the coming weeks".

Also promised to the court was that a loan agreement had been made so that British authorities would receive its $4 million in unpaid taxes and insurance, resulting in the case being adjourned for ten more weeks.

So if the buyout is complete by December, there is the strong possibility that Renault will be back in 2016 with a full works team.

It is expected that Romain Grosjean, currently at Lotus, will be unveiled on Tuesday as a Haas driver for 2016. Pastor Maldonado has already been confirmed by Lotus for next year.

So if Renault has a seat open, Britain's Daily Mirror believes Jenson Button could be a lead contender to abandon the McLaren-Honda project and switch camps.

That would explain the odd spat between the two sides in Japan, with Ron Dennis vowing to honor Button's 2016 contract but the 2009 world champion refusing to commit.

"If I am in F1 next season, it is to be competitive," Button told France's L'Equipe. "Fighting for eighth place does not interest me."

Probably Button's closest friend in the paddock is former F1 driver turned television commentator David Coulthard, who admits there is a possibility the 35-year-old will quit McLaren.

"If Jenson still has a passion, and a belief that Honda will make a huge step forward, just as Ferrari did this year, then he should continue," he wrote in the Telegraph.

"But if he fears another year like this, then he needs to move on. Otherwise it is just going to be counterproductive," Coulthard added.

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