Jenson Button appears to have given another hint that his long F1 career could be coming to an end at this Sunday's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, admitting that he may not wait for McLaren to make a decision on its 2015 line-up.
The Briton is currently in limbo as the team decides whether to pair him or rookie colleague Kevin Magnussen alongside Fernando Alonso next season. While the Spaniard has yet to be confirmed at Woking, his exit from Ferrari was finally confirmed on the opening day of the Yas Marina weekend, with McLaren now expected to deliver its verdict in early December.
Despite management apparently split between the two drivers, Button's F1 future has been thrown in question, and his name linked with various possibilities in other branches of motorsport. Although he is clearly not looking to turn his back on his home for the past 15 seasons, the Briton also hinted that he would not necessarily wait for a decision from McLaren.
“It's been an interesting few months,” he conceded, “When you're in F1 for so many years, you have blinkers on with regard to anything else apart from F1. This is the best sport in the world, this is your life, this is everything. But, when you are put into an uncomfortable situation, obviously your eyes are opened towards other possibilities - and there are a lot of challenges out there, whether it's in motorsport, other sport or something else altogether.
“I'm open to many things in life. I love what I do for a living, I love racing in F1, and the time I have spent with McLaren has been great but will I wait for the decision? That's something I can't comment on right now….”
With a couple of strong results in recent races, Button was asked whether he thought another good performance could be the key to partnering Alonso in 2015, but the Briton insisted that he wanted to be judged on more than the outcome in Abu Dhabi.
“I would hope that a result this weekend would not change my fate for the future,” he claimed, “I feel that I bring a lot more to a team and would hope that my career would speak a lot louder than one individual race.
“The last two years have been a bit tricky in terms of results, but in terms of the personnel, it's been mega. There's such a good atmosphere in this team – it's like a big family, and I've loved working with them.
“Nothing has changed for me for the last two months, so I have nothing else to add apart from I go into this weekend looking forward to it. I've learned to live in the moment a lot more this year and that is exactly what I am going to do. I've got my family here this weekend, so I'm looking forward to it and, hopefully, we can have a good result.”
Lest Abu Dhabi be his swansong, however, Button admitted that he had achieved all he set out to achieve in the top flight.
“When you're a kid, you dream of getting to F1, and your next dream is to win a race, and then win the world championship, so I've achieved all three of those,” he noted, “Is that enough for a driver? Each driver is different, but I love F1 and that is why, as I said, living in the moment is key right now, and not thinking in the future too much.”