2009 Formula 1 world champion Jenson Button has stepped down from F1 racing after announcing he will take a sabbatical in 2017.
Button was not retiring from F1 at the end of the season but there are no guarantees the 2009 champion will race again either.
Currently the Brit delighted with the decision, also says that he is massively excited about his new role. The contract includes an option to return in 2018 as a race driver but a number of factors will have to come into play for that to happen.
“I’m delighted that I’ll be staying on as a key member of the McLaren-Honda team. In fact I’m massively excited about my new role, which has come about as a result of a number of in-depth chats with Ron. Specifically, I’m looking forward to becoming even more deeply involved in the team’s efforts to bring about the success we’ve all been striving to deliver” Button said.
“I love McLaren-Honda – I firmly believe it’s made up of the best bunch of people I’ve ever worked with – and I have no intention of ever driving for another Formula 1 team.
“To be clear, I’m very definitely not retiring. I’m contracted for both 2017 and 2018, I intend to work hard on car-development, and I’m sure I’ll get behind the wheel of the new car at some point.”
The F1 veteran will attend some races in 2017, carrying out simulator work and using his experience to help McLaren become more competitive.