Jenson Button has hailed some of his personal performances for McLaren-Honda this season as 'the best of my career' but explains why it has added to his need for a sabbatical from Formula 1 in 2017.
Despite the lack of results Button has been thrilled by his 2016 races in the underperforming but improving MP4-31 which he puts down to the unrelenting pressure he has applied to himself as well as external pressure to perform.
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However, the British driver says this demand for performances has contributed to his need for a year out of racing having spent the past 17 consecutive years competing in F1.
“Some of my performances this year have been the best of my career,” Button said. “Qualifying performances like in Spa was a good as my pole lap at Spa in 2012. Every time I get in the car I want to do my best and that is a lot of pressure I put on myself and that is why I need a break. I am going to blow my top otherwise.
“I put so much pressure on myself to perform and I will always perform to the best of my ability but putting that much pressure on yourself every other weekend it runs you down.
“That can't go on forever without a break. I do a lot of physical training which helps me mentally for the races pushing myself but F1 there is so much pressure from outside and from within. It is a very tense sport and I need to step down and relax otherwise I am going to have a heart attack one day!”
Button is set to be replaced by Stoffel Vandoorne in the McLaren driver line-up for 2017 as the British driver enjoys a year sabbatical as the team's main development driver. Button has secured six points finishes so far this year with a best result of sixth in Austria.
12 months ago the McLaren driver scored his best result of the season with sixth place in wet conditions at the Circuit of the Americas and feels the Woking-based squad can target the top eight this weekend.
POINTS: The F1 drivers' standings ahead of the United States Grand Prix
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