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November 19, 2009

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Button quits Brawn for McLaren

FORMULA One champion Jenson Button signed for McLaren yesterday to partner Lewis Hamilton, giving the English team a potent lineup for next season featuring the two most recent title holders.

McLaren said Button signed a "multiyear deal" after leaving constructors champion Brawn GP in the wake of its takeover by Mercedes-Benz earlier this week.

The 29-year-old Button was out of contract with Brawn GP after capturing his first F1 drivers' title last month and talks about a new deal had stalled.

McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh said Button's decision was "in no way motivated by money," insisting that they were paying him "no more than he could be getting elsewhere."

"Although I won the world championship with Brawn GP last year, and I'll never forget that, I was always adamant that I wanted to continue to set myself fresh challenges," Button said in a statement. "So that's why I've decided to join McLaren Mercedes. You can't help but be affected by this team's phenomenal history."

Whitmarsh, who had to quell infighting between Hamilton and Fernando Alonso during the 2007 season, has no concerns about the partnership with Button.

"I'm confident that we'll be able to successfully balance and harness Jenson's and Lewis' complementary skill-sets," he said. "Our engineers are already looking forward to working with Jenson, and I'm convinced that such a strong and dynamic driver lineup will make us an even more complete and competitive operation."


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