Jenson Button will retire from Formula 1 after the 2016 season finale in Abu Dhabi this weekend. The McLaren driver had confirmed earlier in the year that he would be out of action in 2017, but a return was in place for the 2018 season with McLaren. Button has now confirmed that he no longer wishes to make a return after this season and will treat the Abu Dhabi GP 2016 as his last F1 race.
His confirmation ended with a thin layer of ‘any’ hopes of a return where he said anything could change between now and 2018.
Speaking at the Thursday press conference, Button said, “The whole idea about having a contract is that in three months time, when I have eaten myself stupid and thinking of things to do in the future, maybe I realise I need F1 back in my life, but in this moment of time that isn’t the case, so this is my last race.
“That is how I think about it at the moment, but who knows this could change in six/eight months or one year.”
Button now aged 36, has a record of 15 race wins and one Formula 1 championship title from the 2009 season. His first F1 race was in 2000 after securing a contract with Williams F1 before moving on to Benetton in 2001, Renault in 2002 and BAR in 2003 – later renamed to Honda in 2006.
His career took a turn in 2009 where he joined Brawn GP to become world champion that year while also aiding Brawn GP to win the constructors’ title. He has been with McLaren since 2010.
“I got into this weekend thinking it is going to be my last race, that is the best way to be at this moment of time. Beyond this, I don’t want to be racing in F1, that is the whole idea. I think of this as my last race and hopefully everyone else does.”