Jenson Button revealed earlier this week that he seriously contemplated leaving Formula 1, after a wretched season with McLaren during their transitional period with engine supplier Honda.
Speculation surrounding the 2009 World Champion’s future dragged on for months, and it was predicted that he would announce his retirement at this year’s Japanese Grand Prix. However, in contrast to last season when McLaren almost dropped Button in favour for his teammate Kevin Magnussen for the following season, McLaren took up their option to resign the Briton for another year.
“Last year I wasn’t sure if I’d be racing and it wasn’t my choice,” Button told Sky Sports F1.
“This year it was totally my choice and there was a moment where I thought ‘I am not sure I want to do this anymore and be where we are’. Obviously, if we are where we are right now next year, it is not going to be that enjoyable.”
McLaren endured their worst performing season in over 30 years after finishing ninth in the Constructors’ Championship and their third consecutive year without a race victory, their last coming courtesy from Button at the 2012 Brazilian Grand Prix. McLaren also finished ninth in 1980, however, they were at least tied with two other teams for seventh position.
Button admits that although there were doubts crossing his mind whether to continue in the sport for another year or not, he was persuaded to commit to another season by the team and was reassured of the team’s future by Ron Dennis.
“I spent a lot of time with the engineers and the aerodynamicists and I spoke more with Ron [Dennis] in the two months when I was trying to decide what to do next year than I have in my whole time at McLaren,” Button explained.
“So a really good relationship there and we went through a lot of ideas for next year and spoke to the aerodynamicists and the engineers and got a real direction and understanding of where we are going and with Honda as well.
“So that got me excited, that got me pumped for next year knowing that there are big improvements on the horizon – and we need them.”
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