Jenson Button has refused to dismiss speculation concerning his expected imminent retirement from Formula One and it is widely predicted that he will quit the sport within days of Sunday’s Japanese Grand Prix.
“But I can’t give you anything else really since the last race. So many possibilities. I’ve got nothing else for you, I’m sorry to say”.
When asked about his relationship with McLaren, Button added: “The team and I are in good talks”. We’re here to concentrate on this weekend, it’s a big weekend for us. “Obviously the weather mixes it up a little bit which I think is what we need to be properly competitive so yeah, we’re focussing on this weekend and hoping for a reasonable result”.
But in the wake of a dispiriting campaign, in which the McLaren-Honda package has proved wretchedly uncooperative, Button is believed to prefer leaving the sport at a time of his choosing with his head held high. “That’s not what excites me – but there are so many other things that, if they work in your favour, or if you see a future, there’s the possibility of joy coming back and that’s exciting”.
The 2009 world champion hinted after the last race in Singapore that he may end his 16-year career in motor racing’s elite category after he failed to reach the chequered flag. The joy of being in the auto is only there if you’re fighting at the front, because you feel like you’re achieving something.
“I don’t like finishing 14th, I don’t like finishing 10th”.
Speaking after he retired with a gearbox failure in Singapore, Button said: “The joy you get is competing”.
“There is so many possibilities of what could happen next year”.
Sebastian Vettel, sat alongside Button in the press conference, said he would be a major loss to the sport. They will give everything to win the world championship – it is, I think, a matter of time. We know that he’s quick, he deserves to be a champion.
Author and journalist Maurice Hamilton also agreed the 35-year-old would be missed as much for his personality off the track as his undoubted calibre on it.
Neither Jenson Button nor Fernando Alonso made it to the chequered flag at the Marina Bay circuit as the team lost one of its best opportunities for a decent points haul.