Jenson Button narrowing down post-F1 racing options for 2017

Jenson Button is narrowing down his options for his 2017 sabbatical from Formula 1, ruling out Le Mans but closing on a Super GT one-off and an American-focused rallycross programme

Jenson Button narrowing down post-F1 racing options for 2017

The 2009 world champion will remain a McLaren-Honda F1 reserve driver and ambassador when he pauses his grand prix racing career next season and is keen to try other forms of motorsport.

Asked by Autosport if he was free to do whatever he wanted or had to stick to Honda machinery, Button replied "I don't think it has to be, but obviously those are the easiest programmes for me to do.

"I'm sure they wouldn't want me racing for a main competitor of Honda, which is completely understandable.

"I won't be racing at Le Mans next year, for example. The right opportunity isn't there.

"But hopefully it will be in the future."

He cited the Suzuka 1000kms - showpiece round of Japan's Super GT Championship - and the America-based Global Rallycross Championship as the most likely current options.

"I might do the Suzuka 1000km in Super GT, it would be nice if that worked out but it's just logistics really," Button said.

"Apart from that, I might do some rallycross in America and do some testing in something else in rallycross.

"There's lots I can do and I've just got to choose how much I really want to do next year and if I want more of a rest."

Honda's rallycross efforts are focused on the GRC in America rather than the world championship, which Button intimated meant he would only race in the category in the US.

Top European RX squad OlsbergsMSE runs the Red Bull-backed Honda GRC team, fielding 2014 champion Joni Wiman and '15 runner-up Sebastian Eriksson in the programme's debut season this year.

Button is convinced rallycross will benefit from manufacturers exiting other forms of motorsport.

Asked if he might contest a full rallycross season in 2017, Button replied: "That won't happen next year. In the future, definitely.

"It's a massively growing sport, especially with Audi pulling out of Le Mans and VW pulling out of rallying.

"I know their main aim is not rallycross but it will definitely help their rallycross programme."

He reiterated that he did not want the commitment of a full-time 2017 racing programme, saying that was why the Suzuka 1000km had more appeal than a full Super GT campaign.

"I don't want to do the whole season. I might as well be in Formula 1," Button said.

"If I do race in Japan it'll just be in the Suzuka 1000km in Super GT."

But he underlined he had plenty of motivation for whatever he did compete in next season.

"I'm very excited about racing in the future," said Button.

"It's just got to be somewhere else.

"I've raced one thing for 17 years. I want to race something else.

"F1 is the pinnacle of motorsport but sometimes you need a change."

shares
comments
Leclerc withdraws from Haas F1 practice duties to prioritise GP3

Previous article

Leclerc withdraws from Haas F1 practice duties to prioritise GP3

Next article

Esteban Ocon expects to be Sergio Perez's equal at Force India

Esteban Ocon expects to be Sergio Perez's equal at Force India
Load comments
The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach Plus

The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach

OPINION: It wasn't just the Verstappen/Hamilton clash that had the Red Bull and Mercedes bosses at loggerheads at Silverstone, with the nature of Formula 1's 2025 engines also subject for disagreement. But hopes to have loud, emotive engines that are also environmentally friendly don't have to be opposed

The drivers that need to strike gold before F1's summer break Plus

The drivers that need to strike gold before F1's summer break

OPINION: Formula 1 is about to break up for summer 2021, with the title battles finely poised. But it’s not just the latest round of Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton that will be worth watching this weekend in Hungary, as plenty of drivers are eying big results to change the stories of their seasons so far

Formula 1
Jul 28, 2021
How Lotus F1 uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’ Plus

How Lotus F1 uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’

Cast in the mould of its founder Colin Chapman, Lotus was powerful and daring but 
flawed – as it proved through further soaring peaks and painful troughs into the 1980s. DAMIEN SMITH examines a game-changing era

Formula 1
Jul 27, 2021
The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address Plus

The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address

OPINION: Changes to the layout of Abu Dhabi’s circuit aim to reverse the trend of insipid Formula 1 races there - the promoter has even described one of the new corners as “iconic”. And that, argues STUART CODLING, is one of this venue’s abiding failings

Formula 1
Jul 26, 2021
How Ferrari offered Britain's next F1 prospect what Red Bull couldn't Plus

How Ferrari offered Britain's next F1 prospect what Red Bull couldn't

Last year's Formula 2 runner-up Callum Ilott could be on his way to becoming the first Briton to contest a grand prix in an Alfa Romeo since Reg Parnell in 1950. But, says OLEG KARPOV, the Ferrari Driver Academy protege is having to temper his ambition at the moment – outwardly at least…

Formula 1
Jul 25, 2021
The signs that point to F1's rude health Plus

The signs that point to F1's rude health

OPINION: Formula 1's calendar might still be facing disruption as the pandemic affects travel but, says MARK GALLAGHER, the business itself is fundamentally strong thanks to the epic rivalry taking place on track and the consistent arrival of new sponsors

Formula 1
Jul 24, 2021
The unexpected benefit of F1’s sprint race repeat Plus

The unexpected benefit of F1’s sprint race repeat

OPINION: Formula 1's sprint race trial at Silverstone drew mixed feedback on Saturday, but there remained the true test of how it would impact Sunday's Grand Prix. While fans were busy marvelling at Fernando Alonso's progress, a key lesson was being learned that would directly contribute to the dramatic lap one clash at Copse the following day

Formula 1
Jul 22, 2021
The off-track considerations that led to F1’s Hamilton/Verstappen Silverstone shunt Plus

The off-track considerations that led to F1’s Hamilton/Verstappen Silverstone shunt

OPINION: Formula 1’s 2021 title fight turned ugly last weekend when Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton collided at the start of the British Grand Prix. Verstappen thankfully walked away unharmed, but this had been a clash long-since coming

Formula 1
Jul 21, 2021