The British F1 veteran Jenson Button could be set to end his F1 career at the end of the season – he is also expected to combine a sportscar drive in the famous Le Mans series with a media career, rumored to include the revamped Top Gear.
The 2009 world champion is expected to announce – probably at his second home in Japan this weekend, he has been in negotiations with McLaren over next year, but it is understood he has decided to bow out on his terms after another season in an uncompetitive car.
“Only my head knows, but my mouth and tongue doesn’t,” said Button, a 15-time winner, when asked if the time was right to end his stay in F1.
“The race was mentally very tough. You get out of the car and you are pretty p***** off but you learn in this business to get over things pretty quickly, otherwise they pull you down.
“The joy of being in the car is only there if you’re fighting at the front, because you feel like you’re achieving something. If you’re fighting near the back, you’re driving an F1 car, but you can easily get joy driving something else.
“The joy you get is competing. It’s about fighting at the front. It’s about the possibility of standing on top of the podium. That’s the joy of Formula One.”
Button, whose wife Jessica is Japanese, regards Sunday’s race in Suzuka as a home event.
“It’s always nice to make an announcement at your home grand prix but I don’t know what’s happening yet,” said Button, who began his grand prix career as a 20-year-old with Williams at the turn of the century.
“There’s a lot of meetings in Japan, Ron Dennis and Eric Boullier will be there. I’m sure there will be a lot of meetings at the headquarters.
“The whole team is together in this. It’s not an easy situation for anyone and the best way is to work together, to make sure personnel and money is being put into the right area.
“I know the Japanese are working flat out. They have no rest. But as McLaren-Honda, we need to make sure everything is going in the right direction. It’s about being calm and not getting too stressed about a situation because everyone is working hard.”