Far from wishing to keep his F1 career going longer, Jenson Button has revealed he is instead eagerly awaiting what could be his final race in Formula 1 next month.
The most experienced driver on the F1 grid, Button has just three races left before he brings the curtain down – at least partially – on an F1 career that stretches back to 2000, almost two months on from revealing he will be quitting indefinitely.
Indeed, while the 2009 world champion isn't counting the last handful of races just yet, he admitted he is becoming impatient for his Abu Dhabi swansong and wishes the last few races were “back-to-back-to-back”.
BREAKING POINT: These F1 races really push drivers and cars to the limit
“The beach isn't calling, but lots of other stuff is though. I don't do beaches, unless it's running over them to get to the sea.”
Scoring points on seven occasions with McLaren-Honda in 2016 with a personal best sixth position in Austria, Button revealed that his initial intention was to retire from Formula 1 rather than take a sabbatical.
However, a conversation in Belgium with McLaren CEO, Ron Dennis, swayed him into taking a year away from the sport with an option of returning in 2017.
MEXICAN GP: Six things to watch out for in Mexico City!
“The idea of speaking to Ron in Spa was to retire, and he wanted to change my mind to stay rather than what it said on the front of F1 Racing. The reason why I'm not racing is because Ron said I should take a year out, it was the other way round. So it's a shame but there you go.”
The McLaren veteran, who is in his 17th season in Formula 1, says that one of the main reasons for his decision to stop competing full time – aside from the hectic schedule – is the new generation of F1 cars.
“I love driving the car it's fun, not as fun as it used to be,” said Button. “But that's not specifically been for so long, it's just the way the sport is at the moment.
“I still enjoy it when you stand on the grid on Austin and listen to the national anthem, the atmosphere is unbelievable. And here it is as well, actually it will be for the next few races. And then Abu Dhabi is the last one, it will be very special I'll have friends and family there as well, I'm actually looking forward to it.”
By Josh Kruse
POINTS: Who sits where in the overall standings after the United States Grand Prix
Latest Tweets from Crash.net & GPF1rst