Jenson Button, McLaren, Suzuka, 2016

Button expects “hugely emotional” farewell

2016 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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Jenson Button will be joined by friends and family this weekend in Abu Dhabi for what could be his final race at the wheel of an F1 car.

The 2009 world champion, who will be replaced by Stoffel Vandoorne at McLaren next year, says he is “really looking forward to this weekend and have been for a few races now”.

Jenson Button, Williams, Interlagos, 2000
Jenson Button’s 300 races in pictures
“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,” said Button.

“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.”

Button will continue to work with McLaren and has not ruled out returning to F1 after 2017.

“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,” he said.

“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.”

2016 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 24 comments on “Button expects “hugely emotional” farewell”

    1. Would have been so much better to simply announce your retirement.

    2. Let’s face it, this WILL be his final F1 race. This protracted ‘he may return one day’ mystery is beyond me. It seems like the perfect time for Jenson to retire from F1. It’s not as if he needs to scrabble around to try and save face. He couldn’t have ended his career better than having a car to blame along with one of the greatest drivers as a teammate.

      Just go already, damn!

      1. I see him making a comeback in 2018 after Alonso’s retirement @psynrg

        1. Yep….there’s a very large squadron of pigs flying in tight formation over the reality
          of that dream-like possibility. I have always liked JB, his tendency to good manners
          and politeness….only occasionally and under great duress has the mirror cracked.
          But the days when top drivers raced continuously into their mid-forties are a long time past.
          If the FIA had not this year firmly closed the door on under-18s driving F1 cars, we’d be seeing
          sixteen-year-olds racing in the wet at 220mph…..a terrifying prospect to chill the blood.

          So….farewell JB.

      2. Yes agree loen!!!! button should of gone a few years back…his retirement was long over due, well over paid and the most over rated driver in recent years imo..with the likes of Ves, Sainz, Nasr even Ric who are paid peanuts ect surely the teams have to question these “bang for bucks” of these old these old WCs …how many of drivers on the grid could of won races in the the Merc???

    3. I don’t care about Button, glad he goes and opens up a spot for Stoffel, he should have done so last year.

    4. Well, if Alonso does move to WEC as he’s hinted, then there is a possibility McLaren might call on Button’s services once again. Then again, the driver market for 2018 is expected to have a big shake-up, so maybe not.

      With just 3 seats needing to be filled for 2017, let the 2018 silly season commence!

      1. Why would they phylyn? with so much talent in the midfield

    5. Too bad it is going to be at an absolute car park of a circuit like Abu Dhabi.

    6. How little love for Button in the previous comments! “go already” sounds to me as the words I would reserve only for Maldonado.
      Great driver who spent most of his career in badly managed teams. It was good to see him clinching the title back in 2009.

      1. @omarr-pepper It’s just the whole long, drawn out, slow exit. Which apparently isn’t an exit anyway. Even though everyone knows it is. Why!?

        It smacks of, “No Jenson, we’re not renewing your contract. However, you can determine the nature of your exit, however you please.”

        1. According to Jenson he wanted to retire and McLaren convinced him to sign up to the current arrangement.

      2. @omarr-pepper
        I’ll be honest, I got fed up with the words people used to describe Maldonado. His last season in F1 wasn’t bad at all compared to his others. It was largely faults with the car and other people causing him to crash that made him look bad that year. He was by far the most unlucky driver on the grid in 2015. 6 retirements in the 1st 6 races. And all of them were engine related. (just thinking one of them may have been brake problems). But even with a Mercedes engine, he still seemed to have far more problems than any other car with that engine later in the season as well. I can only really blame him for 1 or 2 of his retirements that year. There were other drivers that were worse overall than him last year. I also don’t think either Magnussen or Palmer have really done any better in the Renault this year than Maldonado could have managed. It’s not like them 2 haven’t crashed and made mistakes and collected penalties.

        But yes, about Button, I don’t know why people some are saying what they are about button here. He’s not been as strong as Alonso but then Alonso has made mistakes this year. And last year they were pretty much even. Since he beat Alonso last year, I couldn’t say he didn’t deserve this season in F1 this year.

        1. Button is a true gentleman. He has had a great career in F1 and some really memorable races. Would never forget 2011 Canadian GP. Those drivers who can show masterclass in the rain are always the best.

          1. Pinak, l agree Button is a gentleman..he also debuted in the Williams and he didnt have to start in a minardi ect like most drivers …and he lucked a WC crown because of a massive advantage in the blown Brawn in which Ross later said ” they only had the budget to upgrade and develop jensens thru 09″…which was considered “illegal”and protested by the grid..considering his breaks and machinery over the years I have always rated him as a average midpack driver..not a great driver.

    7. I didn’t expect Button to become a McLaren workhorse but glad he did.

      1. I will always love that race in Canada that he won. The downpour of heavy rain that delayed the race, with Jenson ending up at the back of the grid and overtaking Vettel.

    8. I will miss Jense. I’ll never forget that look/smile on his face after his first win in Hungary.

    9. Farewell Jenson and thanks for some great memories.

      Like Webber, Massa and others of your experience, you weren’t afraid to say what you thought (still think “doesn’t take much skill to engineer a motor that lasts 1 lap” was one of the best) . Paraphrased a bit.

      On your day in a good car, you are untouchable and always very very fair on the track with any driver.

      A deserving champion and a great bloke. We’ll miss you.

    10. He deserves a proper farewell, but at least a ‘sabbatical’ is better than the plain uncertainty of Barrichello’s final race.

    11. Will miss jenson soooo much!!! Has been my favourite driver for most of this century!!! Apart from 2009 had a knack of being in a good car, but not often a great one. And as ive mentioned here many times before montreal 2011 is easily my favourite f1 race ever!!!!

    12. Evil Homer (@)
      22nd November 2016, 7:31

      Who knows, he may well be back in 2018 if Alonso doesn’t like the new regulations and I think its a smart insurance policy for McLaren if this does happen and no-one else is in the waiting. But I do think this will probably be his last one.

      Best of luck this weekend for JB, I hope he has a cracking race!

    13. Good luck to Jenson however final races never go well. Can anyone think of any examples of a good final race for someone in F1? All the ones I can think of were DNFs!

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