Jenson Button says he expects this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will be his final F1 race.
The McLaren driver could return to Formula One in 2018 but indicated in today’s press conference he is planning more than just a sabbatical from Formula One.
“I go into this weekend thinking it’s going to be my last race,” said Button. “I think that’s the best way.”
“It is going to be my last race. At this moment in time, I don’t want to be racing in F1 beyond this year.”
“I think of this as my last race and hopefully everyone else does as well. It’s been a long journey since eight years old until now I’ve been racing in motor sport.”
“Everything before Formula One was work to try to get to Formula One. You get to Formula One with many dreams, you aspire to be something, and hopefully you leave the sport with memories. And that’s something I definitely do have from my 17 years racing in Formula One. Lots of amazing memories, lots of life-changing memories, some good, some bad. And also to walk away with the world championship is a very special feeling as well.”
“Raced with two of the teams that I dreamt of racing with as a kid: Williams and McLaren. And when I did win the world championship it was with a privateer team which I think is also pretty special. Obviously a very memorable year in my life. In the future something I’ll hopefully be telling my grand-kids about – how it came from nothing and we ended up winning the world championship.”
“Over 300 grands prix. I will definitely step away from Formula One happy with what I’ve achieved and knowing that my life really does start now.
Button denied he has changed his position on stepping down from F1 at the end of the season. “Nothing’s changed, I’ve just gone into this race thinking it’s my last<" he said. "I don't want to go into this race thinking it's not my last and it is my last. It is true that I have a contract for 2018 but at this moment in time I'm not going to be racing in 2018." "The whole idea about having a contract was in three months' time, when I've eaten myself stupid and thinking of things to do in the future, maybe feel I need Formula One back in my life. But at this moment in time, that isn't the case." "This is my last race, that's the way I think about it at the moment. But who knows, that could change in six months, eight months, one year."