Button: I don’t want to be racing in F1 beyond 2016

Date published: November 24 2016

Jenson Button has announced that he is treating this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as his “last” race in F1, turning his sabbatical into a retirement.

Earlier this year the British racer revealed that he would be taking 2017 away from the Formula 1 grid, billing it as a sabbatical.

The 36-year-old will be replaced by Stoffel Vandoorne but the door was left open for a possible return in 2018.

However, ahead of the season-ending Abu Dhabi GP he has confirmed that he is treating the race as a retirement.

Speaking in Thursday’s FIA press conference, he said: “I go into this weekend thinking it’s going to be my last race.

“It is going to be my last race. At this moment in time, I don’t want to be racing in F1 beyond this year.

“It is true that I have a contract in 2018 but at this moment in time I am not going to be racing in 2018.

“The whole point of this was if in three months’ time I had eaten myself stupid and I changed my mind.

“But I don’t want to go into this race thinking it’s not my last race and it is.”

Asked if he had adopted a new outlook, he replied: “Nothing has changed. I’m just going into it thinking that it’s my last, as I don’t want to go into it thinking it’s not my last and it is my last.

“It is true that I have a contract for 2018, but at this moment I’m not going to be racing in 2018.

“The whole idea of the contract was that, in three months’ time, when I’ve eaten myself stupid, and I’m thinking of things to do in the future, I may feel that I need Formula 1 back in my life.

“At this moment in time that isn’t the case. This is my last race, and that’s the way I’m thinking about it, but who knows, that could change in six months, eight months, one year…”