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Wednesday, February 19th, 2020

Jenson Button to announce retirement at Japanese GP: Report

by November 24, 2016 General
Jenson Button McLaren

Jenson Button is set to end his successful career in Formula OneReuters

With McLaren struggling to put one complete race together and their struggles showing no signs of ending, it looks like Jenson Button will call it quits, with reports suggesting the former world champion will announce his retirement soon.

The Formula One Japanese Grand Prix is scheduled this weekend, and the Telegraph reports Button will make his retirement announcement in Suzuka.

McLaren have struggled immensely this season, despite having two world champions at the wheel, and with new contract talks dragging on, it looks like Button has decided to hang up his driving gloves.

Asked about his future after Sunday’s Singapore Grand Prix, Button admitted he had come to a decision.

“My head knows but my mouth and tongue doesn’t know,” Button said. “The joy of being in the car is only there if you’re fighting at the front, because you feel like you’re achieving something.

“If you’re fighting near the back you’re driving an F1 car, but you can easily get joy driving something else. The joy you get is competing.

“It’s about fighting at the front. It’s about the possibility of standing on top of the podium. That’s the joy of Formula One.

While Alonso has managed just 11 points all season, Button has picked up a mere six, and, according to the report, the Brit is considering swapping the Formula One car for some punditry work and possibly competing in Le Mans.

Both Button and Alonso failed to finish the race in Singapore on Sunday.

“It’s been a tough season,” Button said after another disappointing outing for McLaren. “Everyone is feeling it, but it’s not slowing us down in terms of how much effort everyone is putting in, both in Woking and Sakura.

“So the team will now get their heads down and focus on the next race, in Japan. It’s Honda’s home circuit, but it’ll be another tough weekend.

“We’ll do our best.”

Button, who has won 15 races in his career, won his lone F1 world title in 2009, with Brawn GP, and another former champion – Damon Hill – also thinks this could be the 35-year-old’s final season.

“If you’ve won one world title you’re only interested in winning another, not just in taking part,” Hill was quoted as saying by the Guardian. “And up against Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull, it would be extraordinary if McLaren pulled a rabbit out of the hat next year. They are looking at another season of consolidation and slight improvement.

“I’m not certain about this. He may stay but when we spoke with him he was at ease with whatever was coming his way. He was quite happy and relaxed and jovial and jocular, not thinking: ‘How am I going to win the world championship with this team?'”

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