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Jenson Button announces Formula 1 retirement ahead of Abu Dhabi GP

When interviewed this morning ahead of this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Jenson Button announced that he will be retiring from Formula 1 at the end of this season.

Jenson Button announces Formula 1 retirement ahead of Abu Dhabi GP

Button, 36, currently races for McLaren, however, was expected to be taking a sabbatical in 2017 having the option of returning to the sport in 2018 if either Fernando Alonso or Stoffel Vandoorne were to leave.

When interviewed, Button said:

I go into this weekend thinking it’s going to be my last race. I think that’s the best way.”

At this moment in time, I don’t want to be racing in F1 beyond this year.

Since entering Formula 1 in 2000 driving for Williams, Button has started 304 grand prix, winning 15 races, and securing 50 podium finishes. The highlight of Button’s career was his 2009 title campaign when driving for Brawn GP, winning six of the first seven races and finishing in the points at every race apart from the Belgian Grand Prix, leading to the British driver securing the World Drivers Championship.

For 2017, Button will be acting as the reserve driver for McLaren, carrying out an ambassador role for the team, working in the simulator and doing some promotional work.

Entering Formula 1 aged 20, the sport has been a large portion of Button’s life, racing for 17 seasons and 7 teams in total.

When talking about his career, Button said:

You get to Formula 1 with many dreams and hopefully you leave the sport with memories – some amazing memories, some life-changing, some good, some bad. To walk away with the world championship is very special, too. I will definitely step away from F1 happy with what I’ve achieved and definitely my life starts now.”

This season also marks the retirement of Williams’ Felipe Massa, with the Brazilian driver also hanging up his racing helmet at the end of the season.

With both Button and Massa retiring at the end of this year, Formula 1 has lost two truly iconic drivers from the grid at the close of the 2016 season.

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