Jenson Button believes he stayed in Formula One for one year too long. According to him, it drained his passion for racing in his final campaign with McLaren in 2016. He stepped away from F1 at the end of 2016, but has only had one race appearance this year, as Fernando Alonso’s stand-in for the Monaco Grand Prix. The British driver has moved to America and admits the limited racing time has allowed him to reflect on his 17-year career in F1.
Button said “It has been lovely and it has been necessary as well. Lots of things have happened in my career that I have not had time to think about at the moment in time. I’ve needed this year to sit down and have a little chat to myself about what has happened. It has been good. Obviously I did the race in Monaco, the race we can forget about, but qualifying I loved. Driving these monsters in Monaco…and the other race that really stands out is this one, driving a 2017 car must be pretty special. But do I miss F1? No. 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.”
When Button filled in for Alonso, he realised something. He realised that walking away from the sport was the best decision he made. “It was nice to have another taste of it and have a taste of these cars but it also made me realise that… I mean Monaco is a crazy weekend anyway, it’s very different to anything else but I knew that when I finished that weekend that I was not going to be back.”
In 2015 and 2016, there was a lot of uncertainty regarding his seat in Formula One. Finally he announced his sabbatical/retirement for the 2017 season and freed up a seat for Stoffel Vandoorne.
Where is Jenson Button Now?
Button is currently in Suzuka this weekend fulfilling his duties as a McLaren brand ambassador. He also made an appearance at the Super GT series driving a Honda NSX-GT. He participated in 1 race in Suzuka where he finished 4th.