The 2016 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix could’ve been Jenson Button’s final Formula 1 race. His F1 retirement hasn’t officially been confirmed, but judging by what he said all weekend, it looks likely it will be.
Earlier in the year he announced he was taking a break from F1 in 2017, although it was stressed by McLaren and Button it wasn’t a “sabbatical” or “retirement”.
He remains part of McLaren’s “innovative three-driver strategy” (seriously, that’s what the team called it) and will be there to help development of the car and step into the race seat if need be.
Obviously his only real option for returning in 2018 is if Stoffel Vandoorne has a disastrous season (unlikely) or if Fernando Alonso decides to leave the team, or F1.
But right now, it appears the Abu Dhabi GP was his last race and it ended in disappointment with suspension failure. But he did get the chance to take over Ted’s Notebook afterwards.
We couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate his career than by looking back at some of the brilliantly awkward and odd adverts he has appeared in so far:
“Wow, it’s bracing”
Who can forget Button’s Head and Shoulders shampoo advert? 30 seconds of poor acting, that’ll make you cringe. It was even classed by Campaign magazine as the worst celebrity ads of 2011, in case you didn’t know. Relatively easy to see why.
While the Head and Shoulders one is just awkward, this one has a creepier vibe to it. Because Button is quite literally hiding in someone’s house. All to help promote Santander’s 1 2 3 current account. That makes sense, right?
Who’d have thought Button would turn out to be such a talented sculpture designer? Another Santander ad, this time to promote its mortgage service. Again, this one is a bit weird and awkward to watch. And sadly, not as funny as Santander expected.
A different type of race
Watch Button and Alonso race each other through a vineyard on foot, on bikes (two thirds of a triathlon, so Button must’ve been in his element) and on an array of vehicles. We’re surprised McLaren let them do all of those stunts. This one was to advertise McLaren partner Chandon.
Dat growl tho
This one was obviously created to go viral and catch the attention of students, for being silly and weird. Right? That must be it. Button shows off his meditation moves and does a fake growl to help promote Santander’s student current account.
Button vs Stewart
No, not Jackie Stewart. In this Mobil 1 ad, Button goes against NASCAR champion Tony Stewart on exercise bikes. For some reason. Let’s continue…
Yep, surprise, surprise. Santander strikes again, with another weird and wonderfully awkward advert featuring 2009 champ Button. We particularly like the ending. Because it’s kind of funny, and because it means the ad is finishing.
“It’s got lots of, girlies”
This gem has been uncovered from ITV’s 2001 Spanish Grand Prix qualifying show, advertising the F1 magazine. He’s on the cover, so they got him to wander through the paddock explaining what’s inside the magazine. Simple, but it has a bit of a weird vibe to it.
As much as these ads are awkward and make us cringe a bit, we’ll genuinely miss Button on the F1 grid next year. Thanks for the good times and the laughs, Jenson!