Jenson Button: Fernando Alonso isn't bluffing about F1 return plan

Fernando Alonso will "definitely" make a Formula 1 comeback if McLaren returns to the front in grand prix racing soon, former team-mate Jenson Button believes

Jenson Button: Fernando Alonso isn't bluffing about F1 return plan

Alonso, who rejoined McLaren for a second stint in 2014 but has been unable to add to his 32 F1 wins and 97 podiums since, announced earlier this week that he would be stepping away from the series at the end of the year.

But the 37-year-old left the door open for a return to F1, particularly if McLaren improves - stating: "I know they will come back stronger in the future and it could be the right moment for me to be back in the series".

Button left F1 in similar circumstances two years prior, and while he did make a one-off appearance replacing Alonso in Monaco last year, he has not pursued a full-on comeback and now races in sportscars.

But the 2009 world champion is convinced Alonso would jump at the opportunity to be back in F1 if he can land a competitive seat.

"It's always down to the individual when they choose to leave Formula 1," Button said.

"He has done the same thing as what I chose to do - leave but leave it open, for one year after, to go back. I think that's the right option to do.

"And if the McLaren's quick and it's winning races, he'll be back to Formula 1, definitely.

"Every driver in the world would love to be in a winning car in Formula 1. You retire, I think, because you get bored of the travel and the stress of it, and if your results aren't there, there's no reason to be there.

"If the car is quick, I'm sure he'd want to jump back in in 2020."

Alonso claimed that his decision was spurred on by "very poor" track action and not McLaren's middling results.

Button, who is racing alongside the Spaniard in the World Endurance Championship this year, said the complete dominance of Alonso's Toyota team in the WEC put that line of reasoning into question.

"His comments were maybe not the best, in terms of 'the racing is more boring'. I mean, he's racing in WEC, and the only competition is his team-mate here, you know what I mean?" said Button.

"I don't think you can really say that, but I understand where he is.

"If he's racing for a win, he's going to enjoy it a lot more.

"But when you've won multiple world championships like him, and you're fighting in the midfield, it does get boring after a while."

Reflecting on Alonso's F1 career, Button described him as his "toughest team-mate" - having previously stated that Alonso had been a "bigger challenge" as a McLaren team-mate than fellow champion Lewis Hamilton.

"He's been exceptional, to win two world championships and be so close a couple of other times, there aren't many people who get to do that," Button said.

"My toughest team-mate. I really enjoyed it, though."

shares
comments
Romain Grosjean denies Ferrari hope inspired Haas F1 team move
Previous article

Romain Grosjean denies Ferrari hope inspired Haas F1 team move

Next article

Robert Kubica surprised to enjoy non-racing Williams F1 team role

Robert Kubica surprised to enjoy non-racing Williams F1 team role
Load comments
The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022 Plus

The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022

Mick Schumacher’s knack of improving during his second season in a championship was a trademark of his junior formula career, so his progress during his rookie Formula 1 campaign with Haas was encouraging. His target now will be to turn that improvement into results as the team hopes to reap the rewards of sacrificing development in 2021

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Plus

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. JAMES NEWBOLD hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwarts

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022
When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push Plus

When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push

There was an ace up the sleeve during the 1983 F1 title-winning season of Nelson Piquet and Brabham. It made a frontrunning car invincible for the last three races to see off Renault's Alain Prost and secure the combination's second world title in three years

Formula 1
Jan 13, 2022
How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner Plus

How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner

Brabham’s first world championship race-winning car was held back by unreliable Climax engines – or so its creators believed, as STUART CODLING explains

Formula 1
Jan 10, 2022
The steps Norris took to reach a new level in F1 2021 Plus

The steps Norris took to reach a new level in F1 2021

Lando Norris came of age as a grand prix driver in 2021. McLaren’s young ace is no longer an apprentice or a quietly capable number two – he’s proved himself a potential winner in the top flight and, as STUART CODLING finds out, he’s ready to stake his claim to greatness…

Formula 1
Jan 9, 2022
The original F1 maestro who set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton Plus

The original F1 maestro who set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton

Juan Manuel Fangio, peerless on track and charming off it, established the gold standard of grand prix greatness. NIGEL ROEBUCK recalls a remarkable champion

Formula 1
Jan 8, 2022
How Russell sees his place in the Mercedes-Hamilton F1 superteam Plus

How Russell sees his place in the Mercedes-Hamilton F1 superteam

George Russell joining Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes this year gives it arguably the best line-up in Formula 1 – if it can avoid too many fireworks. After serving his apprenticeship at Williams, Russell is the man that Mercedes team believes can lead it in the post-Hamilton era, but how will he fare against the seven-time champion? Autosport heard from the man himself

Formula 1
Jan 6, 2022
How F1 pulled off its second pandemic season and its 2022 implications Plus

How F1 pulled off its second pandemic season and its 2022 implications

OPINION: The Formula 1 season just gone was the second to be completed under the dreaded shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic, but in many ways it was much more ‘normal’ than 2020. Here’s the story of how the championship’s various organisers delivered a second challenging campaign, which offers a glimpse at what may be different next time around

Formula 1
Jan 5, 2022