BUTTON EYES LE MANS 24H
Brit says endurance showpiece may be an option
Mclaren driver Jenson Button has revealed he wants to race in the Le Mans 24 Hours one day, as he continues to ponder his F1 future.
The 36-year-old says he has “a few options” to continue to race in F1 for an 18th season and that the decision whether or not to do so lies solely in his hands, even though Mclaren is evaluating replacing him with long-time protege Stoffel Vandoorne.
But when asked what else he wants to do in life after F1, Le Mans was among his targets, which represents a change in his position given he ruled out such a move as recently as late 2013.
“There’s so much I want to do in my life in terms of competition,” said Button.
“I want to do Le Mans, I’d love to if the right opportunity came up and I was wanted and I felt it was a good chance and gave me the possibility of winning.
“It’s a great race and I love the camaraderie of the team members and the atmosphere.”
The 2009 world champion also revealed he was keen on entering an endurance race with racing driver friends. Although he did not specify who, this could include the likes of reigning Blancpain Endurance champion Alex Buncombe.
Button has little experience of that form of racing, having spent almost all of his car racing career in single-seaters. While he did compete in the 1999 Spa 24 Hours driving a Rafanelli-run BMW, the car retired before he got behind the wheel in the race.
Button confirmed he has yet to discuss his Mclaren future with Ron Dennis, but that such a conversation is planned for September. “I don’t know,” said Button when asked about his F1 future. “I have days when I want to be racing and other days when I think I’ve been around long enough and that doing something different could possibly be more fun.
“I’ve lived by Bernie Ecclestone’s schedule for 17 years, maybe I want to be my own man.”
Button is known to have held talks with Williams, while Renault is on the lookout for a driver to lead the team in 2017.
A decision is expected soon, with Button saying at Spa last weekend that he’s “almost there with my thought process” and that he “thought about it” a lot during the August break.