Mike Stevens | Nov 18, 2009

MCLAREN WILL LIKELY field an all-British line-up next season, with Formula 1 World Champion Jenson Button reportedly on the verge of inking a contract to race for the outfit for three years.

Button emerged as McLaren’s preferred target to partner Lewis Hamilton after it baulked at Kimi Raikkonen’s asking fee, creating the prospect of the first World Champion driver pairing since Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost in 1989.

The former Williams driver’s future had been clouded after Brawn GP refused to accede to his pay demands, which saw Button ask for a pay rise to a rumoured £6 ($AU11) million per season.

The figure was down on his initial salary with Honda, but a significant hike compared to his bargain basement 2009 contract, signed after Ross Brawn and Nick Fry completed a buy out of the Brackley-based team.

And with Mercedes confirming its purchase of Brawn GP, any hope of Button remaining with the team appeared to vanish, leaving German Nico Rosberg as the team’s likely number one driver heading into next year.

2009 F1 championship winner, Jenson Button.
2009 F1 championship winner, Jenson Button.

However, Brawn GP Chief Executive Officer Nick Fry told the BBC the Mercedes takeover hadn’t changed the situation surrounding Button’s contract.

“We've had discussions with Jenson over what we think is a sensible salary and this deal is not going to change anything in that respect,” he said.

“I hope Jenson will be with us as we've been together for a good few years, but F1 is not divorced from the rest of the world.

“The reason we've survived as a team is that we have operated in our means.”

Meanwhile, newcomer Manor Grand Prix has signed former German Timo Glock as its lead pilot for the 2009 season.

Glock arrives following a two-year stint with Toyota, finishing 10th in this year’s World Championship despite missing the final two races through injury.

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