Jenson Button will start his 305th Grand Prix in Abu Dhabi in a race that will see an end to the British driver’s participation in Formula One – For a year at least.
Ahead of what will surely be an emotional weekend for the 2009 World Champion, Button spoke exclusively to Mobil 1 about the future of the sport:
Ahead of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Button said,
“I’m really looking forward to this weekend, and have been for a few races now. It marks a very special chapter in my life and I’ll have my friends and some of my family out in Abu Dhabi with me which I’m very excited about. It’s going to be a hugely emotional weekend and I hope with the support of the fans, the team and the people that are closest to me, we can go out there and give it our absolute maximum and enjoy the weekend. It’s not the end of my career with McLaren-Honda, but it’s the start of a new phase that I’m incredibly positive about.
This race marks the culmination of a huge amount of hard work, dedication and passion for the sport that I love and I’m immensely proud of everything I’ve achieved in the past 17 seasons, and the fantastic progress we’ve made over the past couple of years with McLaren-Honda. It’s been an amazing project to work on and my involvement certainly won’t end here. I’m looking forward to concluding this chapter in style and starting a new one with just as much enthusiasm, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds.”
– Jenson Button
Button’s career in Formula One has been a remarkable story, particularly emerging from the imminent extinction after 2008 to lead the one-season wonder 2009 season with Brawn GP. The Brit last scored points at the Yas Marina circuit in 2014 with a 5th place finish, a similar result would be gladly accepted by McLaren, who are still in danger of being caught by Toro Rosso if it doesn’t go their way. For the weekend to work out, Button insists that,
“Yas Marina is a pretty technical race track, with a relatively low average speed thanks to the tight corners in the final sector, which gives it many of the characteristics of a street circuit. Typically, overtaking is quite tricky there, so it’s important we do as much as we can in qualifying and hope for a strong, clean start like many that we’ve enjoyed so far this year, and make the most of our strategy in order to get the best possible result.
If we use the track time productively on Friday it’ll give us the best opportunity to set the car up for the weekend and, hopefully, avoid a repeat of Brazil where I really struggled for pace in the race. Our package definitely has more potential than that, and I hope that I can push it to the limit and give the team and the fans a good end to the year.”
– Jenson Button