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  Thursday, 30 May, 2002, 17:20 GMT 18:20 UK
Button wants to stay at Renault
Jenson Button at the Monaco Grand Prix
Button has impressed with Renault this year
Jenson Button wants to stay on with the Renault team in 2003 after his contract expires at the end of the year.

"I've been pleased with my performances and certainly it would be nice to stay with Renault," the English driver said.

"They are clearly moving up the grid and in the next few years it is not impossible that they could be challenging Ferrari.

"It's not good to keep chopping and changing teams. At McLaren, Ferrari and Williams they have kept their driver line-ups for a couple of years," he told weekly paper Motorsport News.

"When you swap teams you have new people and a new car and it takes a while to get used to their way of working."

Button is believed to be close to signing a new deal with Renault.

This would have to be negotiated with the approval of team boss Frank Williams, who has Button under contract and has loaned him to Renault since the start of the 2001 season.

Williams is expected to retain Juan Pablo Montoya and Ralf Schumacher next season.

Strong candidate

Montoya's contract runs out at the end of this year, but he has impressed the team greatly. Schumacher is contracted until the end of 2004.

Button, 22, struggled last season but has been impressive this year and has scored eight of Renault's 11 points.

His form has increased his chances of staying and Spaniard Fernando Alonso, the test driver who was seen as a strong candidate to replace Button, is testing with Jaguar at Silverstone this week.

Renault Sport boss Patrick Faure said he was happy with Button's performances this year.

Faure recognised that Alonso, who drove for Minardi in 2001, was unlikely to want to remain a test driver for much longer.

Renault have admitted that they could loan Alonso out to another team.

Eddie Irvine's contract at Jaguar is up for renewal while Spaniard Pedro de la Rosa has another year to run.

See also:

30 May 02 | Formula One
28 May 02 | Formula One
17 Apr 02 | Formula One
03 Apr 02 | Formula One
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