McLaren-Mercedes star Jenson Button has argued that there is 'no point' in continuing to compete at the highest level once a driver has had children – reasoning that 'if you start feeling fearful of pushing the car to the limit, you have got to stop' as it is 'not worth the risk'.
Having recently turned 31, Button was asked whether he and girlfriend Jessica Michibata – to whom he has joked he will propose once he has secured a second F1 World Championship crown to add to his 2009 success with Brawn GP – are thinking of planning a family, but he insists that is something that will not be on the agenda until after he has hung up his grand prix helmet.
Five of the 23 confirmed drivers on the F1 2011 starting grid have children, but Button claims that the responsibility of having kids would likely distract his focus, alter his attitude to racing at 200mph and make him think twice about chancing opportunistic overtaking manoeuvres.
“When I have kids it will change, but not yet,” the 31-year-old told the Sunday Express
. “That's one reason why I don't want to have kids while I am racing. It's not worth the risk. Also, you don't get enough time to spend with them. It hasn't crept in yet – I will stop when it does. If you start feeling fearful of pushing the car to the limit, you have got to stop. There is no point.”
Button went on to underline that his firm target for 2011 is to avenge his slump to fifth place in the final points standings during his maiden campaign with McLaren last year by taking the fight to defending world champion Sebastian Vettel for drivers' title glory, asserting that he is 'as fit as I have ever been' and that the German 'won't be any hungrier than I am'.
Meanwhile, the nine-time grand prix-winner insisted that it would be madness to write off a challenge from a reinvigorated Michael Schumacher this season.
“I don't agree with that at all,” he responded, when asked if 'Schumi' is no longer the all-conquering force he once was. “I think he is not happy with the car. Look at NASCAR, where you have guys in their 50s still winning.”
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