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Button: 'I left it a year too long racing in F1.'

Jenson Button, McLaren
© XPB 

In hindsight, Jenson Button believes he stayed a year too long in Formula 1, which in turn eroded his love for the sport.

The 2009 world champion quit F1 at the end of last year but remained contracted to McLaren and available to race if his services were ever required.

Fernando Alonso's commitment to the Indy 500 offered the Briton a one-off chance at Monaco to sample F1's new-spec cars.

Button admitted that the trials and tribulations associated with McLaren-Honda and the 2016 season took its toll on his love for motor racing.

But a year of standing back from the sport, living in California, coupled with a run last summer in the Suzuka 1000km has sparked his enthusiasm once again.

"It has been lovely and it has been necessary as well," said Button who is present at Suzuka this weekend for the Japanese GP.

"Lots of things have happened in my career that I have not had time to think about at the moment in time.

"I've needed this year to sit down and have a little chat to myself about what has happened. It has been good.

"Obviously I did the race in Monaco, the race we can forget about, but qualifying I loved. Driving these monsters in Monaco...and the other race that really stands out is this one, driving a 2017 car must be pretty special. But do I miss F1? No.

"I miss racing. I've sort of fallen out of love a little bit with motorsport. I think that maybe I left it a year too long racing in F1."

Button says he has a few racing options on the table for 2018, mainly in sports cars, but ruled out an involvement in any major single-seater series outside of F1.


"I'd love to do Le Mans at some point, but I'm not sure it's the right time to jump in and do it.

"I think the LMP2 category is awesome, there are so many teams, it's a lot of talented drivers but you have P1. I can't get my head around racing a car that is 20 seconds slower than something else."

"IndyCar, there are some great drivers racing in IndyCar, but it scares the shit out of me," he said.

"I'm amazed they still race. Very brave guys. But I wouldn't touch that. I don't feel it's necessary at this point in my career.

"Formula E, it definitely has its place, I think it's great for manufacturers, technology that is being used, it's going to keep growing, but again, it's not something that excites me.

"I want to go racing and have fun. I want to hear the engine, I want to hear it roar. I want to drive something that has 600+ horsepower. It's what I grew up with."

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