LONDON, England - Jenson Button, having signed a two-year contract with McLaren in December 2014, said the wait was worth it and that he felt like he was starting over in Formula 1.
NEW TEAM MATE: Ferrari's Fernando Alonso (left) will join McLaren in 2015 as Jenson Button remains with the team, at least for the next two years. Image: AP / Hassan Ammar
Button, almost 35-years-old and the most experienced driver on the grid, will partner Fernando Alonso.
Each is an F1 champion though Button was out-of-contract at the end of the 2014 season and had spent the previous few months wondering if he had a future in the sport.
Contracts for the two drivers were confirmed on Wednesday (Dec 11 2014).
F1 DRIVER LINE-UP
The 2015 list of drivers for 2015 is now:
Mercedes: Lewis Hamilton/Nico Rosberg
Red Bull-Renault: Daniel Ricciardo/Daniil Kvyat
Williams-Mercedes: Valtteri Bottas/Felipe Massa
Ferrari: Kimi Raikkonen/Sebastian Vettel
McLaren-Honda: Fernando Alonso/Jenson Button
Force India-Mercedes: Nico Hulkenberg/Sergio Perez
Toro Rosso-Renault: Max Verstappen/Carlos Sainz
Lotus-Mercedes: Romain Grosjean/Pastor Maldonado
Sauber-Ferrari: Marcus Ericsson/Felipe Nasr
Caterham: Decision needed about team's participation
Button told Reuters Television: "Fernando was talking about (McLaren group head) Ron (Dennis) and himself being in a hotel room many times over the past few weeks. I had that last night (Dec 10) - an hour and a half of just running through everything, just getting a lot of stuff out in the open between us.
"It was a good thing to do. I feel a lot more comfortable.
"I have had a long career in F1 but this feels like a new start. I spoke to one of my sisters and she said 'I've got goosebumps like it is your first drive in F1'. For me it is the same but with 15 years experience."
OLDEST DRIVERS ON THE GRID
The Button/Alonso pairing gives McLaren the oldest drivers on the gird. Combined experience: more than 500 races.
Alonso will be the third F1 champion Button has partnered... and potentially the toughest. The others were Canadian Jacques Villeneuve and fellow Briton Lewis Hamilton.
Button added: "I feel we'll bring a lot to this team, working together. We are both grown-up, intelligent (enough) to understand that we have to work closely together and do the talking out on the circuit.
"That's the way it has to be."
It was also important that his new contract was for more than just a year. "This is a new project, an exciting project," he said. "To be part of the legendary partnership between McLaren and Honda is not a one-year thing... it is not something I am doing just to be around for one year."