The time needed for McLaren-Honda to recover and succeed could be the reason Jenson Button has apparently decided to quit formula one.
Although the Briton has delayed the announcement for now, it is widely believed that Button is set to call time on his 16-year F1 career.
Asked by the Spanish sports daily AS when his fans might expect his decision to become public, Button admitted it will take place before the season finale.
“Yes, yes, in the next few (race) weekends,” he revealed.
As his decision is not yet official, the reasons are obviously also not properly explained, but Button has hinted that the “joy” of F1 has faded amid McLaren-Honda’s painful struggle for performance in 2015.
And the crucial factor could be that Button no longer believes that the Anglo-Japanese collaboration can correct the situation by the time the 35-year-old’s time in F1 definitely expires.
“I think we can make a good step forward for next year,” he said.
Button insisted that he “believes” in not only McLaren but also Honda, but admitted: “Whether they become champions or not, I don’t know. Nobody knows.
“That’s the thrill of a challenge and competition, but they do have the talent and the resources to do it.”
Again, however, Button hinted that the time McLaren-Honda will need for success is the sticking point amid his deliberations about the future.
“They’ll have to spend two years probably,” he said, “maybe it will be five, I don’t know.
“Maybe in the eyes of some people I am not the youngest any more, even though I still feel young and fast, but it’s true that you should think about what you can do in the time you still have left in F1.
“Is that your question?” Button smiled.
“The truth is that if I am in F1 next year I want to be competitive, and of course no one has that guarantee. So it depends on the feeling that I have inside of me.
“It’s a very difficult decision,” he added, “but you can be sure that I will be happy.”
Asked if he might be ‘happy’ in another category outside of F1, Button admitted: “Yes. If I am not in an F1 car I will be racing somewhere else, although perhaps not next year. Sometimes you need a little rest.
“We’ll see. There are many decisions I need to make very soon,” Button added. (GMM)