2009 F1 champion Button expressed interest in DTM - Berger

ITR chairman Gerhard Berger says that 2009 Formula 1 champion Jenson Button was interested in racing in the DTM full-time, but could not as he does not live in Europe

2009 F1 champion Button expressed interest in DTM - Berger

Button stepped down from his Kunimitsu Honda seat in SUPER GT at the end of last year, but has stated his intention of continuing racing in other categories in 2020.

A move to the DTM would come as a major boost for the series, which has been trying to attract drivers from other categories, especially as wildcards.

Button already got his first taste of the touring car category at Hockenheim in November, when he represented Honda in the season finale as part of a three-car SUPER GT contingent.

However, Berger believes it would be difficult for the 40-year-old to agree to a full season, given how often he would have to commute to Europe from his home in Los Angeles, where he lives with his fiancee Brittny Ward and newborn son Hendrix.

"I spoke to Jenson in Hockenheim," Berger told Motorsport.com. "He said he would like to drive DTM. In the discussions that followed, I felt that he would like to continue living in LA.

"The DTM is tough and absolutely top level. To be successful, you have to live in Europe and have to be in contact with the team everyday. I don't know if he is ready.

"As a guy, I would have loved to see him in the DTM. I like him and think a lot about him, but I think he is now in a phase of life in which you develop other interests."

Button previously cited his frequent trips between US and Japan as one of the reasons for quitting SUPER GT after just two seasons in the category.

He was required to fly to commute to all eight SUPER GT races each season, along with a number of tests for both Honda and tyre supplier Bridgestone in Japan.

"Life definitely changes when you have a family of your own. In terms of racing nothing changes," Button said last year when explaining his decision to leave SUPER GT.

"When I get in the car I feel exactly the same, and to be fair my best races this year have been since Hendrix was born.

"I don't think my driving has changed but being away from home is more difficult, because I live in America and I travel to every race and test in Japan. It's a lot of travelling.

"So yes, I will be spending more time at home. It has changed me. But I still will be racing. I'm a racing driver and I can't stop - I'll be driving until I'm 80-something, like Stirling Moss!

"If you still have the fire and you get excited by racing, you have to keep racing. It's what we're made to do and you can't change that."

shares
comments
The DTM has issued a revised 2020 calendar set to start in July

Previous article

The DTM has issued a revised 2020 calendar set to start in July

Next article

BMW "honoured" Wickens wants to test one of its DTM cars

BMW "honoured" Wickens wants to test one of its DTM cars
Load comments
Why Albon has his work cut out in the new-look DTM Plus

Why Albon has his work cut out in the new-look DTM

The DTM moves into its bold new GT3 era with welcome support from Red Bull, which enters two AF Corse-run Ferraris. That includes one for ex-F1 driver Alex Albon, who’s determined to make a success of his GT switch - but he knows it won't be easy...

DTM
Jun 17, 2021
The slow-burner threatening to unseat Audi's DTM king Plus

The slow-burner threatening to unseat Audi's DTM king

It's taken him a while to emerge as a consistent title challenger, but in the final year of DTM's Class One rule set, Nico Muller has smoothed the rough edges and has double champion stablemate Rene Rast working harder than ever to keep up in the title race

DTM
Oct 13, 2020
How a DTM failure became an unlikely Nurburgring conqueror Plus

How a DTM failure became an unlikely Nurburgring conqueror

Opel's fortunes in the DTM had taken a turn for the worst by 2003 - hardly the pedigree that suggested it could take on the toughest 24-hour race of them all. But that's exactly what it did

DTM
Sep 23, 2020
The season that revitalised a sleeping giant Plus

The season that revitalised a sleeping giant

On the 20th anniversary of the resumption of hostilities in the DTM, Autosport revisits a classic season that brought a staple of German motorsport back to life with a bang and set in motion the careers of some notable names

DTM
May 28, 2020
Does 2000 hold the answers to DTM's current crisis? Plus

Does 2000 hold the answers to DTM's current crisis?

It's 20 years since the DTM roared back into life at a packed Hockenheim with a back-to-basics approach as the antidote to its high-tech past. Now it's on its knees again, so is it time to recall the lessons learned in 2000?

DTM
May 28, 2020
The last-chance saloon of Germany's forgotten tin-top champions Plus

The last-chance saloon of Germany's forgotten tin-top champions

The Opel Vectra GTS was the last in the line of the marque's DTM challengers, but failed to hit the lofty heights of its predecessors when financial constraints hit

DTM
May 15, 2020
Ranking the 10 best Audi DTM drivers Plus

Ranking the 10 best Audi DTM drivers

Audi last week announced it would be exiting the DTM at the end of 2020, bringing the curtain down on 20 years of continuous participation since the series' reboot in 2000. Autosport's expert panel ranks its 10 best drivers from the period

DTM
May 5, 2020
How the DTM landed itself in crisis Plus

How the DTM landed itself in crisis

Audi's announcement that it will withdraw from the DTM was the latest bodyblow for a series that has lost three manufacturers in as many years. Some major soul-searching will now be required to assess how it can survive

DTM
Apr 28, 2020