• McLaren news

Button excited to lead McLaren

ESPN Staff
December 2, 2012 « Pirelli hopes for five more years beyond 2013 | Montezemolo slams Ecclestone »
Jenson Button won the final race of this season in Brazil, ensuring he outscored Lewis Hamilton across their three years as team-mates © Getty Images
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Jenson Button says he is "really looking forward to 2013" when he can direct McLaren's development programme as the team's lead driver.

With Lewis Hamilton leaving for Mercedes and Sergio Perez coming in as his replacement, Button will assume the mantle of team leader over a new team-mate ten years his junior. Having been team leader at BAR at a much younger age, Button said that it's a role he enjoys and that he's focusing on a crucial few months before the start of the new season.

"I really enjoy … being the lead driver and being the guy who can really help the team improve the car and sort of mould the car around me," Button told ITN. "So I'm really looking forward to 2013 because of that; I've got a couple of months to really mould the team and the car around me at the factory. The good thing about McLaren is that they really listen to what a driver has to say - we're an important part of the puzzle - it's not just driving the car it's developing the car and that really means a lot to me."

Button also said that he feels it will take a while for Perez to settle in to the team before he'll have an input in car development.

"I'm pretty excited about the direction of development. Sergio; obviously coming in to the team it's really for him learning about the team and about the car and then during the season when he gets a handle on it he can help with the direction. But at the moment it's impossible because he hasn't driven a McLaren before so he doesn't really know how it's going to be."