Dennis urges Button to 'try harder'
30 June 2014 – McLaren Group CEO Ron Dennis has urged Jenson Button to "try harder" as the 2014 season develops, claiming that he has been given "a big wake-up call" by rookie Kevin Magnussen's performances.
Button's current contract with the Woking-based outfit is set to expire at the end of the campaign, and various drivers have been linked with a move prior to Japanese car giant Honda returning as its engine partner.
"I'm sure Kevin is giving a big wake-up call to Jenson," said Dennis in an interview with Sky Sports.
"In some ways you say, 'Great, we've made a great choice with Kevin,' and in other ways you say, 'Come on Jenson, you are a World Champion, absolutely one thing that you can do on a consistent basis – and should be doing – is beating your team-mate.'
"Do I want him to try harder? Of course I do. He's a highly paid Grand Prix driver. Yes, we're not giving him the best car. Yes, it's challenging for him to win in this car. But he could do his bit. And Kevin has got to make it as difficult for him as possible."
Amid speculation that Hamilton has commenced talks with McLaren about a potential return, Dennis said he would always be open to the idea of reuniting.
"We will always hope that the best available drivers would wish to drive our cars," Dennis explained.
"The key word is available because people have contracts and we respect those contracts. But if Lewis was in a position to drive for us this year, as with many of the other top drivers if they were in that position, we would love to have him onboard.
"But no one should ever feel threatened, either as a driver or an engineer. All we want to do is win and we have to take considered decisions on that process."