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Jenson Button joins McLaren for 2010 // The British driver moves to partner Lewis Hamilton next season

Published by Christine

It has been speculated endlessly since Monday's Mercedes/Brawn announcement, but today Jenson Button has been confirmed as a McLaren driver for 2010. Button will partner Lewis Hamilton, creating an all-British driver line-up for next season.

The news broke on McLaren's own Twitter account:

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes signs Jenson Button. Sensational double World Champion driver line-up created as Jenson joins Lewis!

That seems like an odd place to make such an announcement, but it only really serves to confirm what pretty much everyone already knows.

Update: An official team press release swiftly followed McLaren's tweet. The team are excited to have team comprising two world champions and point out that:

  • This is the first time in Formula 1 history that a team has started the new season with a line-up featuring the most recent two successive World Champions
  • This is the first pairing of two British World Champions since Graham Hill partnered Jim Clark at Lotus in 1968

Jenson joining the Woking team creates what must be considered one of the strongest line-ups for next season. On this subject Button says:

I think it’s fantastic that we’ll be forming an all-British line-up. I know that we both fly the flag with pride, and I sincerely hope we can make the whole of the United Kingdom, as well as Vodafone McLaren Mercedes fans across the world, proud. Nothing means more to me than to be able to represent my country, and I’m looking forward to both of us painting Formula 1’s circuits red, white and blue for many years to come.

Lewis appears happy with the arrival of a new team-mate, but doesn't forget the outgoing Kovalainen:

It’s fantastic news that Jenson has decided to join Vodafone McLaren Mercedes – and I’m looking forward to working with him and our engineers to make sure we kick off the 2010 season with a car that’s competitive enough to win the World Championship – but I want to send my best wishes for the future to my 2008-09 team-mate and now good friend Heikki Kovalainen, who is one of the nicest human beings I’ve ever met.