Jenson Button’s decision to leave the Formula One grid in 2017 has given Stoffel Vandoorne a chance to showcase his ability at McLaren, but what the British driver planning on doing with his year away from Formula One?
Ahead of his final Grand Prix for at least a year, Jenson Button said,
“I might do the Suzuka 1000km in Super GT, it would be nice if that worked out but it’s just logistics really. Apart from that, I might do some rallycross in America and do some testing in something else in rallycross.
There’s lots I can do and I’ve just got to choose how much I really want to do next year and if I want more of a rest.”
– Jenson Button
— GREAT Britain (@GREATBritain) October 29, 2016
Asked whether he would consider racing a full season of rallycross in 2017, he replied,
“That won’t happen next year. In the future, definitely. It’s a massively growing sport, especially with Audi pulling out of Le Mans and VW pulling out of rallying.
I know their main aim is not rallycross but it will definitely help their rallycross programme. I don’t want to do the whole season – I might as well be in Formula 1.”
– Jesnon Button
So it sounds like a mixture of special appearances in a few other forms of motorsport but mainly a rest. Button has spent 17-years racing in Formula One without a break, but the British driver may find the rust settling in despite a return in 2018 being a possibility.
— McLaren (@McLarenF1) November 13, 2016
Button has managed seven points finishes this season, his best result a 6th place finish at the Austrian Grand Prix. It hasn’t been the easiest year and the perception is that the Brit’s patience has been very thin. There have been hints, especially comments he made after Qualifying in Interlagos, suggesting that he is looking forward to a break above all else.