Button hints he may leave F1 whatever McLaren decide

Thu Nov 6, 2014 2:45pm EST
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By Alan Baldwin

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Jenson Button has indicated he might not stay at McLaren even if the Formula One team offered him a contract extension for next season.

With speculation swirling about his future, and reports already suggesting the 2009 world champion is set to retire, Button said no decision had been made but he had plenty of options.

He added that it made little difference whether the decision came before the end of the season or not, and was clear that he did not want to stay in Formula One if there was no chance to win races.

The 34-year-old has said previously that he wanted to stay at McLaren, who have been closely linked to Ferrari's Fernando Alonso and are starting a new partnership with Honda, if the chance was there.

But he appeared to signal a shift on Thursday when talking to reporters at the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Asked whether he would stay if McLaren asked him to, after all the uncertainty, the Briton said: "That is a good question that I cannot answer at this moment in time.

"When you are put in a position that many drivers have been in over the years, not sure if your contract is going to be renewed, it opens your eyes to different challenges and different possibilities.

"Whether it's racing, whether it's doing another sport, or something different altogether, for me I am excited about the challenges ahead. I have a lot that I am excited about, a lot of different ideas, whether it is for next year or the year after."   Continued...

McLaren Formula One driver Jenson Button of Britain prepares to put on his helmet during the first practice session of the Japanese F1 Grand Prix at the Suzuka Circuit October 3, 2014. REUTERS/Toru Hanai