The clock is ticking on Button’s current option at McLaren – he will essentially be a free agent at the end of this month – and the 35-year-old is still undecided on whether he will be with the fallen British outfit next season.
McLaren are, however, keen to keep Magnussen interested in the sport and have indicated that other teams could employ his services for a song in exchange for keeping him race fit should they require a replacement for either Jenson Button or Fernando Alonso in the next year or two.
McLaren are facing their worst season in 35 years, which could lead to a loss of about £40 million in prize money and sponsor income.
He explains that it’s a “healthy” choice, and that’s important especially for a racer at the top of his game. I have had some great times… and some tough times.
The man was cheerful to the end, and eventually had to rush off to resume his intense training for race night this Sunday.
“Lewis is extremely fast over one lap, probably one of the quickest ever”, Button was quoted as saying on Sky Sports on Wednesday. Things will change a lot for next year.
A sticking point in negotiations is likely to surround Button’s salary, which is due to increase from £8 million to £12 million a year.
When his cooling system failed, Magnussen copped a roasted backside and couldn’t even take advantage of his car’s drinking system without burning his mouth.
“This weekend has been very good for me, though, very different from Monza and Spa, I’ve always felt comfortable and competitive here, and tomorrow we’ll start in a good position from which to score points”.
“Although it’s massively frustrating not to have been racing this year, I’ve knuckled down and tried to view it as a learning opportunity,” he told AUTOSPORT. “I still believe I am in the right place in the future”.
On the back of two terrible grand prix, McLaren-Honda are hoping to find miracles in Singapore and beyond.
The situation has been made worse this year by an El Nino weather system, which produces tinder-dry conditions and increases the risk of fires.
“At the moment, I’m travelling the world so much, so you don’t see me post too many pictures in the United Kingdom because I’m travelling”.
It said protective respiratory masks will be available for spectators “at cost price” while medical and first aid posts will be on standby “to handle any possible haze-related conditions”.
“And, as I say, this year I’ve added a tonne of technical knowledge to that racing experience”.