Jenson Button, 2009 F1 champion, revealed that he came close to signing for Ferrari in 2013, before a deal ultimately fell through. During the negotiations with the Italian giants, Button was driving alongside Lewis Hamilton at McLaren competing for podiums on regular occasions.
At Ferrari, Fernando Alonso was in a tight world championship battle with Sebastian Vettel. Felipe Massa, Alonso’s teammate at Ferrari could not match up to the Spaniard after his life-threatening head injury which he suffered in 2009.
“Every driver would love to race for Ferrari at some point,” Button told Motorsport News. “There’s just something about that team, even this year  it’s tough for them and tough for motorsport fans to see them where they are, but maybe they needed this to come back stronger,” he added.
“But I would love to have raced for Ferrari and there was a good possibility sort of eight years ago but it just didn’t materialise at the end. Pretty much contracts were ready to go and it almost happened, but for many different reasons it didn’t and, to be fair, I was probably better off where I was anyway at McLaren,” said the former F1 champion.
It’s really good for the sport: Button on Alonso’s return to F1
After his deal with Ferrari fell through, Button stayed at McLaren where he partnered Fernando Alonso in his last three seasons before he retired in 2017. Alonso left the grid in 2018, however he is due to make his comeback in the 2021 season. Asked during an interview, Button stated that it was great for the sport to have Alonso back on the grid.
“I think it’s great. He’s a real personality and I think he has probably learned to be a little bit more humble over the last few years,” said Button on Alonso’s return.
“I think you will see a really strong and well-mannered Fernando Alonso. It’s really good for the sport, really good for him and he seems to be working really hard on fitness, which is great. He’s going to need to be as he’s not a young spring chicken anymore,” he said.