Button considered leaving F1 after nightmare season

Published 12/11/2015, 5:37 AM EST
McLaren Formula One driver Jenson Button of Britain speaks to a crew member as he prepares for the third free practice session of Abu Dhabi F1 Grand Prix at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi November 28, 2015. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah/Files


LONDON (Reuters) – Jenson Button considered leaving Formula One this year as McLaren endured their worst season but said he decided to continue after talks with boss Ron Dennis and other key people at the team.

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“Last year I wasn’t sure If I’d be racing and it wasn’t my choice,” the 35-year-old Briton told Sky Sports television.

“This year it was totally my choice and there was a moment where I thought ‘I am not sure I want to do this anymore and be where we are’. Obviously if we are where we are right now next year it is not going to be that enjoyable.”

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McLaren, the second most successful team after Ferrari in Formula One in terms of race wins, finished ninth of 10 this season.

They have not won a race since 2012, with 2009 champion Button the last to do so, and their new partnership with Honda has been plagued by unreliability and a lack of performance that has seen the Briton and Spanish team mate Fernando Alonso languishing near the back.

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There was considerable speculation earlier in the year that Button would announce his retirement but instead the most experienced driver on the starting grid, who made his debut in 2000, signed up for another season.

“I spent a lot of time with the engineers and the aerodynamicists and I spoke more with Ron in the two months when I was trying to decide what to do next year than I have in my whole time at McLaren,” said Button.

“So that got me excited, that got me pumped for next year knowing that there are big improvements on the horizon, and we need them.”

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Alonso has two more years on his contract but Dennis told reporters last month that a possible sabbatical had been discussed if the car remained uncompetitive. The Spaniard subsequently ruled that out.

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Tony Jimenez)

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Dhruv George

12012 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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