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F1 Abu Dhabi GP: Button readies himself for emotional ‘final’ F1 race

Jenson Button readies himself for an emotional weekend in Abu Dhabi in what could be his final F1 race after more than 300 starts.
After 17 years and more than 300 race starts, Jenson Button heads to this weekend's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix for what could very well be his final F1 race.

The 2009 F1 world champion will bow out of F1 after this weekend's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - in the short-term at least – having revealed in September of his plans to take a sabbatical.

Indeed, though Button says it is entirely possible the hiatus will indeed become retirement once he has had time to reflect on his options, such a final decision will not be made imminently.

Even so, though Button doesn't explicitly refer to this weekend's race as his F1 swansong, he acknowledges the 'special chapter' will stir some emotions as he takes a step back from a sport he has dedicated almost two decades of his life to.

“I'm really looking forward to this weekend, and have been for a few races now. It marks a very special chapter in my life and I'll have my friends and some of my family out in Abu Dhabi with me which I'm very excited about.

“It's going to be a hugely emotional weekend and I hope with the support of the fans, the team and the people that are closest to me, we can go out there and give it our absolute maximum and enjoy the weekend. It's not the end of my career with McLaren-Honda, but it's the start of a new phase that I'm incredibly positive about.

“This race marks the culmination of a huge amount of hard work, dedication and passion for the sport that I love and I'm immensely proud of everything I've achieved in the past 17 seasons, and the fantastic progress we've made over the past couple of years with McLaren-Honda.

“It's been an amazing project to work on and my involvement certainly won't end here. I'm looking forward to concluding this chapter in style and starting a new one with just as much enthusiasm, and I can't wait to see what the future holds.”

VOTE: Jenson Button's top 10 F1 races ranked!

Button – who will be replaced at McLaren-Honda by Stoffel Vandoorne in 2017 – will remain employed by McLaren as part of promotional activities next season, while he has also suggested he will make sporadic racing appearances in selected Super GT with Honda and possibly also emulate his father John Button by trying his hand at Rallycross competition.

Button has also been linked to television commentary or presenting roles.

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Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
06.10.2016 - Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
Kimi Raikkonen tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Lewis Hamilton tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Daniel Ricciardo tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Kimi Raikkonen tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Pirelli 2017 tyre test [Credit: Pirelli]
27.11.2016 - Race, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Marcus Ericsson (SUE) Sauber C34 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 and Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Start of the race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31 off trach and Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12 spins
27.11.2016 - Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW38 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31 and his girlfriend Brittny Ward (USA)
27.11.2016 - Race, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31 and his girlfriend Brittny Ward (USA)

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Moi

November 22, 2016 3:43 PM
Last Edited 9 days ago

I'm miss him and so will F1, a great embasador to the sport and on his day (often the wet) as good as anyone. Perhaps never the fastest or best driver but over the years has produced some fantasic drives and stuck it out when times were tough (Honda exiting) and it looked like he'd not have a drive and bingo, Brawn produced a winner and Button made the most of it at the expense of the big teams, their hefty budget and Rubens. Enjoy retirment Jenson although I suspect we'll see you around F1 in some capacity for the foreseeable future

Kimco

November 22, 2016 10:09 PM

First saw him on Eurosport doing karting then met him and his Dad when in F3. Always made himself available for autographs etc. A good role model and a gentleman. Lots of little boys called Jenson about now so he has made a good impression during his time in F1. Best wishes for the future.



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