After 16 illustrious years on the racing tracks, Jenson Button is set to retire from Formula One.
The 35-year-old is expected to announce his decision this week, ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka, his favourite track and in a country where his wife, Jessica Michibata came from.
His team, McLaren, has been woeful this season due to the Honda engine that can no longer compete in a long time with the likes of Mercedes, Renault and Ferrari and there is no guarantee the new model would be any better next year.
“The joy of being in an F1 car is only if you’re fighting at the front and achieving something,” he said after failed to take any point at Singapore Grand Prix last Sunday.
He begins his career at the age of 20 with Williams in 2000, continued with Benetton (2001), Renault (2002), BAR (2003, 2004, and 2005), Honda (2006, 2007 and 2008), Brawn (2009) and has remained with McLaren since 2010.
Over the course of his career, he has won 15 victories from 278 races and the greatest moment of his career would be when he became a world champion with Brawn in 2009.
He is most likely to be replaced by the 22-year-old Kevin Magnusson or 23-year-old Stoffel Vandoorne who currently competes in GP2.
WHAT DO WE THINK?
We can’t make the decision for him, so we’ve got to respect his decision. And his choice of venue for the announcement seems fitting as well – doing it at a track that brought him plenty of joy. He may not be multi-title winning racer, but Button on his day, can be a real force to be reckoned with. His tenure with Brawn GP would come across as the most memorable one, perhaps. Adios Button, F1 will miss you!