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Boullier outlines details of Button’s 2017 McLaren role

McLaren racing director Eric Boullier has explained what roles and duties Jenson Button will have during his sabbatical year from racing in F1.
McLaren racing director Eric Boullier has explained what roles and duties Jenson Button will have during his sabbatical year from racing in F1 as the team's reserve and development driver.

At the Italian Grand Prix, McLaren confirmed Button would be stepping down from his drive to take a season out of racing which has enabled Stoffel Vandoorne to move up and become Fernando Alonso's team-mate for 2017.

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Button will still be strongly involved in the development of McLaren's 2017 car both as a test driver and completing simulator work and Boullier also confirmed he will attend some races next season.

“There are many ways for him to bring his experience, feedback and guidance as well,” Boullier said. “It's good when they are in car, but outside the car as well, especially a driver with a lot of experience, can bring some good advice. He will obviously be a part of the simulator team, which is important to correlate with the car.

“He will be attending a few grands prix as well, so his vision or let's say his understanding about the racing next year from outside the car will be interesting for the team. In many ways, his great experience will be a good contribution for us next year.”

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2017 will mark the first F1 grid without Button since 1999 as the British driver has been ever-present in the sport since making his debut in 2000 for Williams.

Button has explained his need for a break from racing was part of the reason for opting to take a sabbatical, after confirming a two-year deal with McLaren at Monza with the option of returning to racing in 2018.

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