Motor Sport News - - Sporting Scene - By Hal Ridge

World Ral­ly­cross cham­pion Pet­ter Sol­berg says he would wel­come F1 driver Jen­son But­ton to ral­ly­cross, should the Bri­tish driver de­cide to fol­low in his fa­ther John’s foot­steps by com­pet­ing in the dis­ci­pline.

But­ton an­nounced last week that he will take a sab­bat­i­cal from F1 next year, and has pre­vi­ously al­luded to the fact that he would like to race in ral­ly­cross.

“He could be good fun, es­pe­cially with his fa­ther’s his­tory in ral­ly­cross,” said Sol­berg. “I’ve talked to him about this a few times and it could be in­ter­est­ing if he came here. But first, he just has to sum ev­ery­thing up, and see what he will do and how his con­tract with Honda is – I think there’re a lot of things in­volved in it. We can only hope, but it would def­i­nitely be good for the sport.”

But­ton is yet to an­nounce any plans be­yond the end of his stint in F 1, which will con­clude af­ter the fi­nal grand prix of the sea­son in Abu Dhabi.

Along­side David Coulthard, But­ton sam­pled a ral­ly­cross Su­per­car last year as part of a BBC F1 fea­ture that was broad­cast be­fore the Rus­sian GP in Oc­to­ber, where he drove a JRM Rac­ing Mini RX at Ly­d­den Hill.

Sol­berg added: “Jen­son’s a world cham­pion, so he is a good driver. It’s all about the pas­sion and how much you want to put into it when you’re go­ing into a sport. If he takes the de­ci­sion to go to ral­ly­cross, it will be proper.”

Jac­ques Vil­leneuve, 1997 F1 cham­pion, raced in World RX in 2014, driv­ing for the Al­batec Rac­ing team, but failed to make the semi-fi­nals in any of his seven starts.

Pho­tos: Hal Ridge, Ivan San­som and Rose Hughes, Colin Casser­ley

But­ton sam­pled a WRX car at Ly­d­den Jen­son: ral­ly­cross her­itage

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