Nov.18 (GMM) Confusion reigns as to whether Jenson Button has agreed a deal with McLaren for 2010, but widespread reports agree that a signature is at least close.
The Daily Mail said the deal, with the new world champion pitting himself against 2008 champion Lewis Hamilton, could be announced "in the next 48 hours" and possibly on Wednesday.But another British newspaper, the Daily Express, said 29-year-old Button's management has given Brawn/Mercedes until the end of the week to up its financial offer."We are not going to be drawn into an auction," said chief executive Nick Fry.Team boss Ross Brawn told the Independent: "Negotiations are continuing and the reports that he has already agreed terms with McLaren are not helpful."The Sun said Button's McLaren contract has been agreed "verbally" and the Evening Standard reported that meetings with McLaren took place in the last 12 hours.But a spokesman for the Woking based team would not clarify the situation."The situation is that we've got no comment at the moment. There's been a lot said on it already and there's nothing I can say over and above what is out there," he said.Numerous pundits have advised Button to stay put rather than share a garage with McLaren favourite Hamilton, and in the British media on Tuesday, the likes of Johnny Herbert, Murray Walker and Martin Brundle agreed.But, referring to the salary standoff, Niki Lauda told the Daily Mail: "If he did not feel valued there (at Brawn) then he should go."If those (reported) figures are right, I would be upset by that after winning the championship," added the former triple world champion.