McLaren's Jenson Button: I stayed in Formula 1 a 'year too long'

Jenson Button thinks he stayed in Formula 1 a year too long, and consequently fell out of love with motorsport

McLaren's Jenson Button: I stayed in Formula 1 a 'year too long'

But his recent Suzuka 1000km Super GT outing has rekindled his enthusiasm and made him determined to return to full-time competition in 2018.

Button said a year away from F1, Monaco one-off aside, had been "lovely, and it has been necessary as well" as he could "sit down and have a little chat to myself".

While he admitted that driving the "monster" 2017 cars at Suzuka "must be pretty special", he had no regrets about stepping out of the cockpit.

"Do I miss F1? No," said Button on a visit to the F1 paddock in Japan with McLaren.

"I miss racing. I've sort of fallen out of love a little bit with motorsport.

"I think that maybe I left it a year too long racing in F1."

Though his Suzuka 1000km appearance was blighted by punctures and penalties, Button said he "absolutely loved it" and had been inspired to get back to racing.

"As soon as we finished, I wanted to get back in the car and do it all again," he said.

"It has been a while since I've had that feeling.

"Next year I will be racing something. I don't know what yet, whether it will be in America, or Europe, or Japan.

"There are a few options and I want to do a full season and take it properly seriously."

Asked what other series appealed to him, Button highlighted the "growing" IMSA SportsCar Championship - provided he could get a drive in the top class.

"The GT category is great but I'm not sure I can be in a car being overtaken by DP cars. That's something I can't get my head around," he said.

"I'd love to do Le Mans at some point, but I'm not sure it's the right time to jump in and do it.

"I think the LMP2 category is awesome, there are so many teams, it has a lot of talented drivers but you have P1. I can't get my head around racing a car that is 20 seconds slower than something else."

Button was adamant he had "no interest" in either IndyCar or Formula E.

"There are some great drivers racing in IndyCar, but it scares the shit out of me," he said.

"I'm amazed they still race. Very brave guys.

"But I wouldn't touch that. I don't feel it's necessary at this point in my career.

"Formula E, it definitely has its place.

"I think it's great for manufacturers, the technology that is being used, it's going to keep growing, but again, it's not something that excites me.

"I want to go racing and have fun. I want to hear the engine, I want to hear it roar.

"I want to drive something that has 600+ horsepower. It's what I grew up with."

shares
comments
Renault F1 confirms contentious FIA tech man as executive director
Previous article

Renault F1 confirms contentious FIA tech man as executive director

Next article

Japanese GP practice: Lewis Hamilton fastest but session a washout

Japanese GP practice: Lewis Hamilton fastest but session a washout
Load comments
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
The adapt or die mentality that will shape F1's future Plus

The adapt or die mentality that will shape F1's future

As attitudes towards the motor car and what powers it change, Formula 1 must adapt its offering. MARK GALLAGHER ponders the end of fossil fuels

Formula 1
Jan 3, 2022