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Button urges Honda to retain 2008 line-up

NEWS STORY
09/11/2008

With his contract due to run out this winter, Jenson Button has revealed he is to keen to stay with Honda, but would also like to see the Japanese team retain his current teammate, Rubens Barrichello.

With the team due to test Bruno Senna and Lucas di Grassi at the forthcoming test at Barcelona, many, including Barrichello himself, believe the Brazilian's F1 career is at an end after sixteen seasons.

However, ahead of a make-or-break season for the Brackley-based outfit, Button has urged his bosses to make full use of Barrichello's experience.

"They need a lot of feedback from us and having a new boy in the car, I don't feel that you get as much feedback. But it's not my decision," Button told reporters at a promotional event for the Race of Champions on Friday. "I personally like a team mate who is experienced because he can give good feedback and next year there are a lot of changes and not a lot of testing."

With an eye on the proposed limits on testing, he added: "The test drivers aren't going to be doing much at all and we are very limited in mileage."

While Button is virtually guaranteed his seat in 2009, many feel he has been out-classed by Barrichello for much of 2008, with some feeling that the Englishman's heart is no longer in F1. In addition to giving Honda its only podium finish of the season, indeed, its first since Brazil 2006, Barrichello out-qualified Button in ten of the eighteen races, contributing eleven of the team's fourteen points.

Honda has made no secret of its desire to sign Fernando Alonso, a move that Button says he would have welcomed. "It would have been great," he said, "I think I would have worked well with him. When you are team mates it might have been a different story but I get on with him very well."

However, earlier this week, the two-time World Champion announced a new two-year deal with Renault, thereby ending Ross Brawn's dream of getting the Spaniard on-board.

"For him I think it is probably the best option," said Button. "It was difficult because there are no seats available at Ferrari and McLaren. He wants to go to Ferrari, obviously, and that's where he thinks he needs to be to win the world championship again."

Looking ahead to a vital season for his team in 2009, Button concluded: "Hopefully we will have a competitive car. But we don't know how quick we are going to be yet, it's still November."

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