Jenson Button has admitted he would’ve loved to have raced for Ferrari at some point in his Formula 1 career.
Button is taking a “sabbatical” next season, but he went into the 2016 F1 finale in Abu Dhabi fully believing it was his last race in the sport.
It could well be. 2016 might’ve been his 17th and final season racing in F1 and if it is, we’ll miss him a hell of a lot on the grid next year.
In a recent interview with Eddie Jordan for Top Gear, Button admitted there were three teams he always wanted to drive for when he arrived in F1: Williams, McLaren and Ferrari.
He got to race for two of the three, even admitting that there was a chance to race for Ferrari at one stage, but it wasn’t quite right at the time.
Here’s what JB had to say:
“If it was the right situation, yeah of course I would have loved to drive for Ferrari. There were three teams that I wanted to drive for in F1 when I arrived, and they were Williams, Ferrari and McLaren, and I’ve driven for two of them. There was an opportunity at one point, but I thought [McLaren] was the best place to be.”
Button of course debuted for Williams in 2000, before stints at Benetton/Renault, BAR/Honda and Brawn GP – the team he won his 2009 title with.
He then found his way to McLaren, where he remained until the end of this season. But while he leaves a race seat, he doesn’t depart from McLaren altogether.
He’s got a contract as an ambassador and reserve driver for 2017 and a possible option to return to F1 in 2018 if he feels like it.
Button makes way for Stoffel Vandoorne next year, a highly-rated youngster and last year’s GP2 champion. But its Red Bull who has the brightest young talent on the grid, according to JB:
“Ricky Bobby – Daniel Ricciardo. Max is an amazing talent, and he will, I’m sure, be fighting for the world championship one day, but I love the way that Daniel Ricciardo has upped his game this year. He’s the older driver, more experienced driver, but he hasn’t cracked under pressure, and I really like that about him. And he’s a good guy as well.”
The Brit also admitted he’s closest to Ricciardo than any other driver on the grid, saying his huge smile and personality are “big” for F1. We have to agree with that, JB.