Button admits racing mindset changed since August

Jenson Button has conceded his F1 racing mentality has changed since August when he decided to 'retire' from the sport at the end of the season.

Jenson Button has conceded his F1 racing mentality has changed since August when he decided to take a sabbatical in 2017 and has reiterated he isn't planning to return to the sport despite hating the word retirement.

The McLaren driver is preparing for what he considers his final F1 race as he takes a sabbatical next season to step aside for Stoffel Vandoorne to take his race seat.

Despite having an option to return to a drive in 2018, Button insists he won't take it up as he looks to move away from the sport with an eye on a potential switch to the World Rallycross championship as well as Le Mans 24 Hours.

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Button has revealed he made his mind up to leave F1 back in August during the summer break but wishes it hadn't been so soon as he admits he has inevitably lost drive and hunger over the second half of the season.

"I still feel that August was quite early, Button said. "I think when a driver decides he's going to leave the sport or retire from that certain type of sport I think you should try and do it as late as possible. I think I did it way too early.

"The mindset definitely changes, which is a shame. I didn't think it would but it definitely does. I go into the last race excited, knowing I'm going to have a great race and I will give it my all as I always do in every grand prix.

"I'm not retiring, it's a bad word. It's thrown around too often. I'm 36 years old, I'm definitely not retiring. I'll be working here with the team next year, I will be racing other things and in the future.

"I'm going to be driving until I'm 70-odd years old, so I'm not retiring until then, it's just whether I get paid to do it or not. That's probably the only difference.

Since the resumption of the 2016 F1 season after the summer break Button has notched up just two points finishes - a pair of ninth places in Japan and the US in eight races ahead of this weekend's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

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