Reigning world champion Jenson Button has revealed that one day, after he hangs up his F1 helmet, he would like to compete in the gruelling Dakar Rally – but before that, he admits, he has significantly more glory to chase on the grand prix grid.
It has been commonplace for years for drivers to go on to forge a 'second career' of sorts once they become too old to still race competitively at the highest level – and touring cars, IndyCars and sportscars have traditionally been the most popular routes. Button, though, has explained that he might perhaps be interested in treading a different – not to mention far more arduous and dangerous – path.
“If I raced in other formulae it would be because I want to go and have fun,” the 30-year-old is quoted as having said by ESPN
. “Doing the Dakar, for example; I would want to do it as a privateer, just to go there and have fun. It would be such a life experience. If you get into one of the top teams and you are racing for them, it is just so much pressure. I would want to go there and enjoy the race.”
Focussing on the task in-hand, meanwhile – that of overcoming daunting odds to get the better of McLaren-Mercedes team-mate, compatriot and fellow title-winner Lewis Hamilton to successfully defend his hard-fought 2009 F1 crown – Button explained that his preparations are progressing apace, with a visit to his new team's Woking headquarters to get to know some of the colleagues he will be working alongside as he endeavours to outperform a 'formidable opponent' in the other half of the garage this year.
“Winning the championship with Brawn was great, because we worked so hard for it over many, many years,” reflected the seven-time grand prix-winner, “but now to race for McLaren – a team that has so much history and has achieved so much in F1 – and work alongside Lewis is a real privilege for me.
“The guy has achieved so much in the sport in such a limited time, he has had some massive ups and downs and it is my career squashed into two or three years. We have a lot of experience there, and if we work together we will build a phenomenal race car and have a very good season.”