Button: Drivers must be different person in the car


Jenson Button believes drivers must have the ability to race full on when they are in the car before changing personalities to become the person that sponsors like.

The British racer has just begun his 17th season in Formula 1 in a career that has witnessed many highs and many lows.

Through it all the 2009 World Champion has remained one of the more amicable personalities off the track, catering to sponsors' needs, while racing hard on it.

"If you can't be a different person out of the car, that's a weakness," Button told Sky Sports F1's Damon Hill in an exclusive interview.

"I personally feel that when you get in the car you are a certain type of person. You give it your all, you give it your maximum and I feel that there's no one better than me at doing that through a race weekend.

"When you're out of the car, you have to be a different personality or else the sponsors don't want to work with you, the partners don't want to work with you and your career is very short, however good you are on track.

"You need to be the full package and that's something you work over time and that's something the new kids will have to learn very quickly with the way the business this is.

"It's not the easiest place to find sponsors and partners in the sport for teams. They need drivers that are not only quick on the circuit but are publicly very good, very confident and someone they can relate to."

As for the longevity of his Formula 1 career, Button says 17 years may not be a feat the sport's new youngsters ever reach as the "world has changed."

He explained: "I'd be surprised if the 18, 19-year-old's who come into the sport now could have a 17-year long career in the sport, because the world has changed.

"I think that's where I've been lucky – I've been able to grow over the years, not just into a good racing driver but the full package that you need to succeed in the sport.

"It's the same with Fernando. It's why we've been around for so long and why teams still want us to race for them even though we're old at 35 and 36. The important thing is to stay on top of your fitness and stay on top of every aspect – then there's no reason to stop."