Jenson Button 'really emotional' after early exit from last F1 race

Jenson Button described his short-lived final Formula 1 race as "really emotional" after a 17-year career at the pinnacle of motorsport

Jenson Button 'really emotional' after early exit from last F1 race

The McLaren driver is officially only taking a sabbatical in 2017, remaining McLaren's reserve driver with the option to return if required in 2018.

However, Button spent the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend treating it as his final race in F1, and before the race he was given a guard of honour by friends, family and team members in the paddock as he walked to the garage.

When asked if he felt emotional at all, Button said: "Really emotional. I walked downstairs and a lot of people were lined up from the hospitality to the garage.

"I was very happy I had my sunglasses on.

"It's not what you want before the race but it was awesome all the same and I'm glad we had that moment.

"It's very difficult not to get emotional, I have had so many lovely messages.

"I've got to say a massive thank you to everybody who supported me, especially through the ups and downs.

"I take only good memories and experiences away from F1."

The 2009 world champion added that his retirement from the race, caused by an apparent suspension failure after he hit the kerb at Turn 9, didn't dampen his final weekend.

"I enjoyed today massively - the race was short but I enjoyed everything else," he said.

"It's been a rollercoaster ride through the years.

"People say it's so sad I didn't get another high but it's not, I'm happy.

"It doesn't change anything with my feelings on ending my career, I'm very content with what I achieved.

"Tonight is going to be a hell of a lot of fun, and this just means we can start earlier."

Button didn't understand why his car suffered the failure at the right-front.

"I really don't know what the problem was," he added.

"Something failed on the car, which never happens to us. It did today, of all days.

"I didn't do anything different than I have done for 17 years.

"It's a surprise, but I'm glad I was able to figure it would before I hit the brakes for Turn 11."

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