Jenson Button has revealed he would only consider becoming Fernando Alonso’s Ferrari teammate “in a parallel universe”.
The 2009 world champion’s latest interview, with Italy’s Autosprint magazine, is a cool rejoinder to speculation Button might consider leaving McLaren as Ferrari seeks a replacement for struggling Felipe Massa. Asked if he has had contact with Ferrari in 2012, the 32-year-old Briton said: “Well, uh … there has always been contact.
“I always say ‘hello, how are you?’ when I see Stefano Domenicali in the paddock. But he knows and I know that I have a contract for next year. I really don’t know why it (the Ferrari speculation) is focused so strongly in my direction,” said Button.
Trying another tack, Autosprint asked Button if he is flattered that Ferrari made an effort to sign him for 2013.
“Who says they did?” he reportedly smiled. “I think if you look at this team – McLaren – you see a team that has achieved so much. And if you look at the red team, you see the same thing.
“The Italians are passionate about sports, especially motor sport — but this (McLaren) is the right place for me now. Although, as I’ve always said, ‘never say never’,” Button insisted.
He explained that Ferrari is not the right place for him now because of the unique structure Alonso has built up around him at Maranello.
Asked if he thinks the Spaniard would willingly see ‘his’ team altered to suit the needs of a new teammate, Button answered: “If you asked him, then no, he wouldn’t.
“He is a very intelligent driver and, maybe, in a parallel universe, I’d happily work with him. It would be difficult but it’s always interesting to have someone next to you who’s so tough, so smart. I admire him as I admired Alain Prost — he created a great atmosphere around him, with very good people.
“I’m sorry for Felipe, but I think Fernando has the whole team around him.”