Jenson Button’s sabbatical from Formula One takes a fresh twist

Jenson Button’s Formula 1 permanent hiatus doesn’t look to be ending any time soon, despite the Englishman’s recent stand-in appearance for Fernando Alonso, for the McLaren F1 team, at the Monaco Grand Prix.

Button managed to qualify in ninth place, proving that once you’ve got it, you never do lose it. However, the return of the prodigal son wasn’t to have its fairy tale ending, as a series of engine-related penalties – coupled with crashing with Sauber’s Pascal Wehrlein – ending hope of a podium finish.

That tussle in Monaco has clearly not helped change Button’s mind on his F1 sabbatical, with the 37-year-old opting for an out of left-field career change.

The former F1 world champion will debut in the Super GT series in August, racing for Team Mugen at the Suzuka 1000km race.

“After driving an NSX CONCEPT-GT at Honda Racing THANKS DAY last December, I became interested in racing in SUPER GT. I spoke with Honda and they have given me the chance to race at the Suzuka 1000km.

“As an F1 driver and a member of TEAM MUGEN, I will push to win. I am very much looking forward to racing in front of my Japanese fans again.”

Jenson Button

Button isn’t the first Formula 1-centric Englishman to take the not so well trodden path to Super GT, with McLaren’s reserve driver, Oliver Turvey, participating in the Super GT for Honda – and even claiming pole position for the Suzuka 1000km.