Button: future lies in Rallyx or sportscars
Jenson Button says Japanese Super GT and American rallycross are in his plans for the first season of his F1 sabbatical.
Button will step back from driving with Mclaren-honda to make way for Belgian Stoffel Vandoorne. The 36-year-old Briton will remain as part of the Mclaren setup, but will not travel to every race, and has an option to rejoin the grid in 2018.
Button has suggested that he wants to race in other formulae during the break, and said both endurance racing and rallycross – a sport his late father John was prolific in – were top of his list.
However, Button is wary that his relationship with Honda may limit his options, but also ease him into other arenas with the Japanese firm.
Button said when asked if another race programme had to be in a Honda: “I don’t think it has to be, but obviously those programmes [that Honda already does] are the easiest for me to do.
“I’m sure they wouldn’t want me racing for a main competitor. I won’t be racing at Le Mans next year, for example. The right opportunity isn’t there. But hopefully it will be in the future.
“I might do the Suzuka 1000km in Super GT, but it’s logistics really. Apart from that I might do some rallycross in America and do some testing in something else in rallycross.”
Button added that he saw his future in rallycross. When asked if he could do a full season in the mixed-surface sport in 2017, Button said: “That won’t happen next year. But in the future, definitely. It [RX] is massively growing, especially with Audi pulling out of Le Mans and VW pulling out of rallying. I know their main aim is not rallycross, but it will definitely help their rallycross programmes [with Mattias Ekstrom’s EKS Motorsport team for Audi and the VW RX Sweden team].”
Rallyx is part of Button’s plans