Button: Honda exit a total shock

7146 970e pvsJenson Button has admitted that Honda’s shock announcement to withdraw from Formula One came as a total surprise to him.

The Briton, who had recently signed a new contract to stay at the Brackley-based outfit potentially until 2012, says he is determined to stay positive about his future despite the uncertainty that currently surrounds the team.

“I found out at the same time as everyone did in the team, so it’s just as much of a shock to me as it is to everyone else,” he said.

“The first couple of hours was the most painful but then after that I thought ‘what’s the point of being down?’, trying to look at every reason for it.

The team is currently bank-rolled by Honda for the next three months, but a buyer must be found before March 2009 if the squad is to line up on the grid for the season-opening grand prix in Melbourne.

Button is confident that the team will be able to find a buyer.

“It’s not going to change so we’ve just got to try and be positive,” he said.

“I spoke to Ross [Brawn] and spoke to Richard [Goddard, his manager] and a few other people, and there are positives, but the thing is we need to stay positive in ourselves and as one team, because if we’re not then who’s going to be interested in taking it over.”

“It’s the kind of thing that will make us stronger or it’s going to break us! One or the other!”

Button was the only driver contracted to Honda for 2009 prior to the company’s exit. His current teammate Rubens Barrichello had not been confirmed with Bruno Senna and Lucas di Grassi undergoing evaluation as potential replacements.