But­ton: fu­ture lies in Ral­lyx or sportscars

Motor Sport News - - Racing News -

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

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