Legendary F1 driver rules himself out of contention for Mercedes F1 2025 seat

Henry Valantine
The Mercedes logo in the garage in Miami.

The Mercedes logo in the garage in Miami.

Jenson Button, the 2009 World Champion, has ruled himself out of contention to replace Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes in the F1 2025 season.

Hamilton’s former McLaren team-mate is still racing full-time as part of the World Endurance Championship with Hertz Team Jota, but confirmed he would not come out of retirement to pursue a drive with Mercedes next season.

Jenson Button rules himself out in race for F1 2025 Mercedes drive

The performances of another of Button’s former team-mates, Fernando Alonso, have shown that age is no barrier to continued longevity in modern Formula 1, and the former McLaren, Brawn and Honda driver has continued to race since leaving Formula 1 fully back in 2017.

Now back on the grid full-time racing a Porsche 963 in the burgeoning Hypercar class in WEC and confirmed on the entry list for a tilt at the 24 Hours of Le Mans this year, Button has no intention on giving up racing just yet.

But speaking on the Sky Sports F1 podcast and asked about the prospect of throwing his hat into the ring to join Mercedes, Button politely rebuffed it with: “I did my years in F1, 17 years.

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“And also, I think, with the car I’m racing now, it’s pretty quick, but it’s not as quick as an F1 car.

“And getting back up to speed in something that you need reactions to be that fast, I think takes time, and maybe too much time.

“It’s a lovely thought to race in F1 again, but I don’t think I’m at that point in my life anymore.”

Four-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel has been repeatedly linked with the possibility of coming out of retirement to return to the grid next season, though he has not announced plans to do so.

But when asked about the continued longevity of Alonso and how he goes about his racing, Button drew parallels to him and explained he does not have the same “dedication” to Formula 1 that the Aston Martin driver currently has – and believes his sabbatical helped reinvigorate his love of the series.

“He’s an exceptional talent,” Button said of Alonso. “I’ve raced against him since the karting days so I know how good he is.

“Not just his skills and racecraft on track, but his approach to racing off track as well, some probably wouldn’t agree with it, but I think that he puts everything into his racing – and he’s driving something every day.

“He posts pictures of him driving go karts, there’s a DTM car he drove the other day, which I think he has at his school, so he’s nonstop driving and it’s feels that he is giving everything to the sport, which is great to see.

“I had so many years in F1, but it was time for me to leave. Even the best job in the world, you get tired of it at some point. He doesn’t seem to be, which is amazing.

“And I think having his two years away, racing in other categories, winning Le Mans, I think he realised that F1 is still the pinnacle, and he wanted to go back and prove his worth, which he’s done.

“Now he’s just racing because he loves it, and it’s amazing to see his dedication. I don’t have that dedication to one type of motorsport like he does.”

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