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Featured Opinion: Where Next for Jenson Button?

Discussion in 'Formula 1' started by Paul Jeffrey, Jul 28, 2016.

  1. Yes

    102 vote(s)
    70.8%
  2. No

    42 vote(s)
    29.2%
  1. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
    Sim Racing News Editor Staff Premium Member

    Jenson Button Mclaren Honda 2015.jpg
    Rumours within the Formula One paddock of late suggest McLaren Honda may be looking to find a berth for young Belgian hotshot Stoffel Vandoorne heading into the second half of the Grand Prix season, leading many top Formula One figures to wonder if the writing is on the wall for 2009 World Champion Jenson Button.

    It has been reported that McLaren are looking at opportunities within the Grand Prix paddock to find a place for Vandoorne to finish the Formula One season, thus building on his current experience in order for him to hit the ground running heading into what promises to be a critical pre-season programme ahead of the much changed new Formula in 2017. A Potential seat with the ever improving Manor team in place of the short funded Rio Haryanto is the latest rumour, although how keen the decision makers at Mercedes are to run a Honda supported driver in a Mercedes powered car might prove to be a sticking point for the deal to reach fruition.

    All the speculation around Vandoorne's immediate future strongly indicates McLaren's desire to ensure the driver is race fit and ready to slip into one of the McLaren Honda seats for the 2017 season. With Spaniard Fernando Alonso under contract for 2017 it appears Button's 7 year relationship with the Woking squad could be coming to a close at the end of the current season.

    The British driver, winner of 15 Grand Prix and World Champion with Brawn in 2009, has proven to be more than a match for his highly regarded teammate Alonso these last two seasons. Many believe the likable and experienced Englishman still has plenty to offer at the pinnacle of motorsport despite his advancing years. Button will celebrate his 37th birthday prior to the start of the 2017 season and already finds himself as the oldest driver on the current Formula One grid. To give some perspective of age, RedBull race winner Max Verstappen was 30 months and 11 days old when Button lined up on the grid in Melbourne to make his Formula One debut for the Williams BMW team!

    With the ever decreasing possibility of a McLaren seat next season, where next for one of Great Britains top sports stars?

    Williams Mercedes
    Struggling in 2017 after a promising couple of years since the switch to Mercedes power, Williams could well prove to be an attractive option for Button heading into 2017. With a big name sponsor on the car (more than McLaren have managed in recent years), a solid technical team headed by the highly experienced Pat Symonds and former Ferrari man Rob Smedley, and a highly motivated staff working to return the Williams name back into the winners circle, Williams could be a good fit and nice way for Button to end his career in Formula One with the same team for which he made his debut. Of concern would be the financial and technical capacity of the Grove squad to react to 2017's new regulations and remain a competitive force in the coming seasons.

    Renault F1
    The Enstone team returned to full manufacturer status at the beginning of 2016 following the reacquisition of the former Lotus squad by French powerhouse Renault Sport. Short on funding and development in recent seasons and yet to realise the full potential of the resources available from the Renault company, the bright yellow machines may become an attractive opportunity in the coming years. Retaining many of the team personnel from the halcyon days of the mid 2000's and with current driver Jolyon Palmer performing below expectations in his debut season, maybe Renault would benefit from the seasoned experience and professionalism of the 2009 World Champion.

    Sauber F1 Team
    Somewhat of an outsider in the race for Button's signature, perhaps Sauber offer a more interesting challenge for the Briton than first meets the eye. Benefitting from new Swedish investment in the form of investment company Longbow Finance, Sauber are undergoing somewhat of a upheaval heading into the 2017 Grand Prix season. In the team's favour is access to state of the art facilities back at Hinwil including a 1:1 scale wind tunnel, considered arguably the best of its kind in modern Formula One. Curtesy of former BMW ownership the team have access to impressive facilities that stand the squad on competitive footing for future development. With new ideas and investments coming to a team who know how to work efficiently with limited funds, perhaps a combination of excellent facilities, new finance and a massive change in regulations could offer Sauber an opportunity to make substantial ground on the teams in front. A driver with the marketability and skills of Jenson Button would no doubt be an attractive proposition for the Swiss team, however until an engine deal can be sorted out for next season question marks continue to remain regarding Sauber's future potential.

    Haas F1 Team
    Very much a long shot for Button, the new for 2016 American operation could find themselves in the running for Button's signature next season if the Briton would be willing to take a drop down the grid for 2017. An ambitious operation spearheaded by American businessman Gene Haas and benefiting from reasonable financial support, the American team will no doubt be lifting itself gradually through the field in coming seasons. With a large American fan base and close technical partnership with Ferrari, helping to support Hass with its ambitions to become a front running team could prove attractive to a driver like Button who has nothing left to prove in the sport. A stumbling block for the British former World Champion could be the already strong driving line up at Hass, Gutierrez brings substantial Mexican investment and Frenchman Romain Grosjean is considered a top driver in his own right, whist still only 30 years of age presents a better long term prospect than the older Button. Just as the legendary Murray Walker once said, never say never in Formula One.

    World Endurance Championship
    Recent seasons have been rife with speculation that Jenson Button could find himself with a ride in the World Endurance Championship and these rumours refuse to go away in 2016. With many top teams sure to be interested in a driver of the calibre and professionalism of Jenson Button, perhaps a life outside Formula One could prove an attractive prospect for the current McLaren Honda pilot. Recent success stories from the likes of former Grand Prix race winner Mark Webber, whom secured the 2015 WEC World Championship, prove that Formula One experience can be a valuable asset in modern endurance racing. An opportunity to continue working with big budget manufacturers of the likes of Porsche and Audi could help sway a decision by Button, as well as the prospect of once again fighting for a World Championship title and race victories around some of the worlds best racing circuits. Of course the WEC highlight of the season is the famous Le Mans 24 Hour event, a win every professional driver would like to see on their racing CV.


    It is beyond question that Jenson Button is a consummate professional and exceptionally talented Grand Prix driver. At 37 years of age in 2017 and with 17 seasons of Formula One racing behind him, the big question is where will Jenson Button end up next year? We want to hear your opinions on what you think the future has in store for Button. Should he stay in Formula One? Can he still add value to a top team? Does he deserve another shot at race wins, or should he make way for the new breed of younger drivers? - Have your say! Let us know your opinions in the comments section below...

    If you are interested in Formula One and want to share your opinions with other fans of the series, head on over to the RaceDepartment Formula One forum and join in the discussion.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2016
    • Like Like x 6
  2. samcar304

    samcar304
    Sam Carmichael Staff

    I would love to see what McLaren could do in the WEC, Since there last foray into endurance racing with the F1 I imagine went slightly better than expected... Could you imagine a Button and Alonso shared LMP1 car at Le Mans! :cool:
     
    • Love Love x 3
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  3. fortyfivekev

    fortyfivekev
    Premium Member

    In at Williams to replace Massa. Can't see him going anywhere else in F1 and with the top WEC teams only running two cars there isn't that much space there for him either.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
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  4. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
    Sim Racing News Editor Staff Premium Member

    My vote is Williams or WEC :) Webber, Button & Hartley in the Porsche. Awesome.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  5. samcar304

    samcar304
    Sam Carmichael Staff

    But yeah i hope Button stays in F1, I do agree with the general consensus of him going to Williams
     
  6. Christian Moreau

    Christian Moreau
    From the land of Mounties and Maple Syrup Premium Member

    Would love to see him go to the WEC with Porsche. A lot of rumors about him going to Williams as well. I'm OK with either. :p
     
  7. Filip Carlén

    Filip Carlén
    Premium Member

    "Where next for Jenson Button?" Here maybe ;) [​IMG]
     
    • Haha Haha x 8
    • Agree Agree x 2
  8. Andrew Harper

    Andrew Harper
    Premium Member

    I would like to see him stay in F1, he can still delivery the goods.

    The Williams link is an interesting one. You could argue both drivers are under pressure a little, admittedly Massa is underperforming at the moment (and as a big Massa fan that hurts for me to say it) but Bottas is making mistakes too.

    The biggest mystery is the large amount of rule changes next year, may cause a big shake up in the order. It only takes one team to discover one trick the others haven't thought of and you can have a Brawn chassis on your hands :)

    What I wouldn't like him to do is move into a lesser team, would much rather see him move into a top WEC team instead.

    Maybe even a top GT drive? The Honda NSX GT3 is going racing next year, the McLaren GT3 team is a pretty mean package as well. Just thinking of the links with the factory. Not sure if a GTE kit is available (or planned) for the NSX.
     
  9. Andrew Harper

    Andrew Harper
    Premium Member

    Mount a set of pedals and a wheel to that and he can join us on here! :):laugh:;)
     
    • Haha Haha x 11
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  10. with the rate kunos is going he will likely get licensed for ac next
     
    • Haha Haha x 9
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    • Agree Agree x 1
  11. Tobias Röhner

    Tobias Röhner
    Germany's greatest Indycar Fan. Staff Premium Member

    I'd love to see him in a top drive in F1 or WEC, but here's another thought... what if he replaces Crofty at Sky?
     
    • Like Like x 3
  12. his best bet is WEC, he only won the championship in 2009 because of the highly overpowered car, just like Hamilton is right now.
    really, the 1st option is Williams? Why, Bottas and Massa are doing just fine, Ferrari and Red Bull have passed them only because of the money those 2 teams have for development.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  13. samcar304

    samcar304
    Sam Carmichael Staff

    Ohhh i would take anyone over that Buffoon crofty... Hate him soo much.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  14. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
    Sim Racing News Editor Staff Premium Member

    I like Button. I mainly like the fact everyone writes him off each year, always pointing to the fact he won a title in the best car (forgetting it was the best car only for the majority of the first half of the 2009 season, and when was the last WDC not in the best car?) and saying he'll get trounced by his far superior teammate... only to see him run his teammate exceptionally closely and in the case of Hamilton outscore him over the three years in the same team!

    For some reason (probably because of his smooth style behind the wheel) he never seems to get mentioned in the same breath as the top drivers, but he always seems to go about his business and deliverers the goods at race/season end.

    As for his race craft, you almost never see him involved in silly accidents or mistakes, mostly when he goes wheel to wheel with someone you can be pretty sure its going to be a good lesson the young drivers in junior formulae should look at and learn from.

    In my honest opinion, based on around 25 years of avid F1 watching (Silverstone '96 was my first trackside GP), JB is very much the real deal and still has as much as the top guys left to give in F1. Whoever gets this guy will have a great deal on their hands. Actually at the start of the season I would have laid down money on him next to Seb Vet in the Ferrari next year... just goes to show what I know :roflmao:
     
    • Agree Agree x 7
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  15. samcar304

    samcar304
    Sam Carmichael Staff

    I do think some people do forget the WDC is usually won by one of the drivers driving the best car out of the rest. Only times I remember some cars being equal is 07-08 and 2010.

    Not to take anything away from the drivers of course.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2016
  16. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
    Sim Racing News Editor Staff Premium Member

    For me 07 McLaren had the best car, but the inter team rivalry got in the way of solid points for either driver. That was a nice example for Ferrari of how putting all your eggs in one basket with a single driver can actually work. I personally don't think the title deserved to go to Kimi that year, but at least he won one (which is a travesty it was only one). For me in '08 the Macca was again the car of choice, however I would of been interested to see how good the Ferrari actually was that season, as only Massa bothered to turn up that season. Would love to see how a motivated Kimi or other top driver would have done during the year.

    Agree on 2010, that was a great season :)
     
  17. DTM
     
  18. Andrew Harper

    Andrew Harper
    Premium Member

    Never thought of that one, what an interesting '17 line up that would have made at Ferrari :)
     
    • Like Like x 1
  19. samcar304

    samcar304
    Sam Carmichael Staff

    Yeah I suppose looking back properly I'm just reminiscing since 07-08 where the first years I got to watch the whole season and it was a big part of my childhood :)
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Wow Wow x 1
  20. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
    Sim Racing News Editor Staff Premium Member

    I just thought he'd make a great partner for Seb. Vettel goes all balls to the wire and does what he does best, JB develops the car and puts in solid performances without throwing his toys out the pram and presents a nice face to the media when Ferrari inevitably implodes upon itself mid year :D

    Plus I think he'd probably put in better performances than (a now somewhat pale imitation of himself) Kimi.

    Saying that I understand the love for Kimi in Italy (and around the world), so I suppose if it aint broke, don't fix it...
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
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