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Button to Return to Full Time Racing in 2018?

Discussion in 'Motorsports' started by Paul Jeffrey, Aug 24, 2017.

  1. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
    RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief Staff Premium

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    Jenson Button Super GT Suzuka 1000k 2.jpg
    On the eve of his Super GT Suzuka 1000km debut, Former World Champion Jenson Button has admitted a full time racing return next season looks to be on the cards.

    Having stepped away from his McLaren Formula One drive at the end of 2016, Jenson Button has flirted with several different forms of motorsport in recent months, sampling a Rallycross car and Japanese Super GT machine amongst others as he looks to fill his time now driving commitments for McLaren have come to an end.

    Following what the British driver described as several "exciting" tests of the works Honda Super GT NSX this year Button, 37, will be taking to the track for the first time at the Suzuka 1000km race in Japan this weekend, marking the first time the British driver has entered a competitive motor race outside of Formula One since making his debut for Williams all the way back in 2000.

    With retirement seemingly not sitting well with the winner of 15 Grand Prix (despite remaining contractually bound to McLaren as official reserve driver), Button has confirmed that talks are already underway for a full time return to competition next season, potentially in America or more likely in the growing Japanese Super GT series for Honda.

    "I will be definitely doing something next year for a full season," said Button. "Whether it's here or in America or somewhere else, I don't know yet.

    "But the discussions are underway. We'll see how this weekend goes. If it goes well and if I enjoy the weekend, which I think I will, then maybe I could be racing here next year."
    "JB" has always been popular with the Japanese public during his Formula One stint and often refers to the Land of the Rising Sun with warm affection. Considering the Briton still has very strong ties with Honda thanks to his McLaren commitments, a move to the high downforce NSX GT machine for 2018 seems the most likely destination for 2018.


    For his part, Button has likened driving a modern Super GT to his extensive Formula One experience, claiming the visually stunning machines are a match for their single seater cousins through some of the higher speed corners, of which many can be found on the Japanese racing calendar;

    "The cars are great to drive. They are fast, here's a lot of downforce and you can carry a lot of speed through the corners," he said.

    "Through the corners, it feels like a Formula 1 car, which is pretty spectacular. And also you have the GT300 cars to overtake. It's another added challenge for me, something that's new to me".

    The renowned smooth driving style and consistency of Button should work in the British drivers favour should he make the switch to Super GT next year, adding another layer of intrigue to one of the best forms of closed top GT racing in modern motorsports.

    For more from the world of Formula One head on over to our own Formula One sub forum and leave a comment!

    Looking forward to the Suzuka 1000km SGT event? Do you think Button could do well in Japan? Which series would you like to see the Frome Flyer compete? Let us know in the comments section below!
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2017
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  2. Lorenzo Bonder

    Lorenzo Bonder
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    Well Honda won their first race of the season in the GT500 last round (ending the Lexus RC500 dominance in the SuperGT season) and the Honda engine keeps upgrading and looking more reliable, the only one who can match the Lexus engines on pace.

    If JB races LEAVE HIM IN THE GT500, the race is awesome over there!
     
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  3. Nick Hill

    Nick Hill
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    IndyCar? Maybe?!? Possibly?!?!? Hopefully!
     
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  4. Rob

    Rob
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    Button, Alonso, added to Chilton, Gutierrez, and Jones. I think we are nearing our F1 quota. :coffee:
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2017
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  5. Andy Jackson

    Andy Jackson
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    With all this Halo shite, I'd rather watch GT500.
     
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  6. Gopher04

    Gopher04
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    Hey what ever Jenson drives he is going to have fun, he just loves the sport for the right reasons..
     
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  7. Andrew Harper

    Andrew Harper
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    Yeah exactly. The one thing that always comes across with Jenson is he just loves motorsport and he loves his racing.

    Whatever he decides on I just hope he enjoys it and has some success. If that's Super GT then great. Maybe he might want to dabble with Indycar as well? Who knows but it's nice to see him racing again. To also have a car that you know has the potential to do well must also be a massive mental boost.

    I'll try and catch the race but I think it'll be a 5am start in the uk?
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2017
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  8. Daryl Russell

    Daryl Russell
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    Did anybody notice the car has a similar livery from the BAR Honda years?
     
  9. Andrew Scott

    Andrew Scott
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    Awesome, great to see JB is enjoying his racing again, I think he will fit into the SuperGT500 series well.
    Love this comment, "And also you have the GT300 cars to overtake. It's another added challenge for me, something that's new to me". Hope he does well no matter what he drives:thumbsup:
     
  10. Rob

    Rob
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    Someone get this man a halo:
    [​IMG]
     
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  11. Ole Marius Myrvold

    Ole Marius Myrvold
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    He'll be on the wrong tyres though. The Yokohama tires are not the best there, as seen by the best Yokohama team is 11th of 15.
     
  12. Michel Forest

    Michel Forest
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    Wherever he goes, I wish him the best. He's a class act and a great driver. It would be fun to see him in Indycar, because the races are shown here on Canadian TV, unlike Super GT. But I doubt Indy will interest him.
     
  13. The-IC

    The-IC
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    @Michel Forest The official Nismo TV youtube channel has live-streamed the last few seasons of SuperGT with english commentary for free, unless its geo-blocked in Canada for some reason?
    Heres the link for the upcoming Suzuka 1000km
     
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  14. Joseph Maxx

    Joseph Maxx

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    button_2076141a.gif.png

    There! Happy now? :D
     
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  15. dabr1965

    dabr1965
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    Roger Penskie second Acura DPI in IMSA?
     
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  16. Andrew Harper

    Andrew Harper
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    Oddly enough that did occur to me as well. There is the link there company wise. I seem to remember that Jenson was 50/50 on doing Le Mans but with the more relaxed atmosphere and shorter races of IMSA he may love it over there.

    Being a Mazda fan though I would love to see him in the Joest Mazda but that's unlikely! :laugh:
     
  17. Matthew Allington

    Matthew Allington

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    Feels weird reading this line... :confused:
     
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  18. Lorenzo Bonder

    Lorenzo Bonder
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    I know, I had to double verify my post for mind rightfulness before I posted this.
     
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  19. pontoonsan

    pontoonsan

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    I'll be at Suzuka this Sunday!
    Can't wait to see JB's driving!

    If he compete full season of Super GT in 2018, I have to go all circuits:p
     
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  20. Alex Townsend

    Alex Townsend
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    He's a great driver and a very nice bloke to boot. I just wish him well in anything he does as I think he deserves to have a bit of fun now in a closer more competitive series.
    He's already a star in Japan so would be very easy for him in that regard with both living there and getting on with his day to day etc.
    ALMS would also be a good move for him too as I'm sure the US audience would take him under their wing.