Button joins McLaren for less than half of Hamilton's salary

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London, Nov 19 (ANI): Formula One champion Jenson Button has signed a seven million pound-a-year deal, which is less than half what his new teammate Lewis Hamilton gets 15 million pound.

Button, who replaces Heikki Kovalainen, visited the McLaren's HQ in Woking, Surrey, last week.

Button has agreed to a 21 million pound, three-year contract after being snubbed by Brawn GP's new owners Mercedes.

"It's always a difficult decision to leave a team when you've been there for so long. But life is all about challenges. Although I won the World Championship with Brawn GP last year, I was always adamant I wanted to continue to set myself fresh challenges.

"That's why I've decided to join McLaren. You can't help but be affected by the team's phenomenal history," The Sun quoted Button, as saying.

"Its achievements and list of past champions read like a Who's Who of F1 - Emerson Fittipaldi, James Hunt, Niki Lauda, Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna, Mika Hakkinen and of course my new teammate Lewis.

"I've followed the team ever since I was a boy and it feels unbelievable finally to be a part of it," he said.

It is the first time in F1 history a team will start the season with the two most recent world champs.

Ex-team boss Eddie Jordan said: "It is mouth-watering as on the one hand you have a team that was built for Hamilton. But Jenson will bring a different feeling to it.

"But Lewis' father, Anthony, is a tough customer and he will be looking for absolutely the best for that side of the camp. Jenson will need to play all his cards very well." (ANI)

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