With the departure of Mark Webber from the Formula One grid, Jenson Button now ranks as one of the oldest drivers in the series. Turning 34 this month, he’s mere months younger than Kimi Raikkonen, but has spent more seasons racing in F1 than the elder Finn. As such, Button is nearing the end of his viable time in the sport – but just when will he retire, and what will he do next?
With a season-by-season contract, Button’s future is anything but certain. McLaren could opt to re-sign him at the end of the 2014 season or not. Having driven for Honda for several seasons, the Japanese manufacturer that’s set to power McLaren from 2015 onwards is said to favor keeping Button on board, but nothing’s certain at this point.
If and when McLaren shows him the door, Button’s likely to try and find a seat with another team – championship contender or otherwise. But Autosport reports that Jenson isn’t likely to follow his longtime rival Webber to Le Mans. Even behind the wheel of a front-running LMP1, the prospect of racing on a track with slower vehicles doesn’t entice the 2009 World Champion to switch disciplines.
Button is keen to keep racing for as long as he can. The only questions are how many good F1 seasons he has left in him – he dropped form second in the 2011 standings to fifth in 2012 and ninth in 2013 – and where he would go after that.
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Motorsports: What next for Jenson Button?