Button’s year out “best thing I’ve done”

Stuart Codling and Glenn Freeman
This article first appeared on autosport.com

Jenson Button says his “love for motor racing is back” after spending a year away from Formula 1, ahead of his return to full-time competition in Super GT in 2018.

The 2009 F1 world champion announced at the weekend that he will contest the full Super GT season in Japan next year with Honda, having made his debut in the category at the Suzuka 1000km earlier this year.

Button admitted at the Japanese Grand Prix in October that he stayed in F1 a year too long, which resulted in him falling out of love with motorsport, and he added this weekend that his rediscovered passion for racing did not extend to wanting an F1 return.

“This year off from Formula 1 has been the best thing I possibly could have done because my love for racing is back,” Button told MN‘s sister title Autosport during the Honda Thanks Day at Motegi.

“F1, my time was done there, but for racing itself my love is well and truly back. I’m very excited.

“The race I did in August was so exciting, there was so much fighting, so much overtaking, and I really enjoyed it.

“Towards the end of the year [Masashi] Yamamoto-san [Honda motorsport boss] asked me if I’d like to do a full year of racing, and I said I’d love to do that.

“[In Super GT] there’s a lot of competition between the manufacturers, and a lot of talented drivers, which is what you need in a sport.

“That’s what gets you excited, that competition.”

Penske talks didn’t progress

Button was thought to be in the frame for a seat with the new Penske Acura team in the IMSA SportsCar Championship next year, but he says his main interest there was for the high-profile endurance races, and it was too difficult to combine with a Super GT programme.

“We talked, but I was thinking about the endurance races, because I wanted to do Daytona [24 Hours],” he said when asked about Penske.

“But it was tricky fitting it in with Super GT because you’d be all over the place during the season, flying between the US and Japan, and the testing schedules don’t fit either.

“I wanted to do one thing properly – I didn’t want to come into a season and over-race.

“Eight races [in Super GT] isn’t a lot but it’s the perfect amount to get you back into racing again.

Recent news

Column

Who I have my money on for the BTCC title

By Matt James

Rallying News

Citroen: Meeke was 'not under control'

Citroen World Rally team principal Pierre Budar felt Kris Meeke was out of control and left...

Karting: The secrets to PF International

As part of our special investigation into the world of karting, we got former karting star and...

Racing News

BTCC driver Moffat quits TCR UK

British Touring Car Championship driver Aiden Moffat has exited the TCR UK championship, with...

Racing News

Historic FFord driver saved from fiery crash

Historic Formula Ford driver Nelson Rowe credited two spectators and a competitor for saving...

Rallying News

Citroen: C3 design saved Meeke in crash

Citroen team principal Pierre Budar believes the design of the manufacturer's C3 World Rally...

Rallying News

Triple ERC champion makes WRC2 move

Reigning three-time European Rally champion Kajetan Kajetanowicz will move into the World Rally...

Column

Silverstone's rallycross adventure

By Matt James

Taking on the European karting scene

The international karting paddock has witnessed its fair share of talented British drivers in...

Rallying News

Electric Mitsubishi rally car being developed

Swedish outfit Mpart has started developing an electric Mitsubishi rally car built around R5...

Rallying News

New WRC GB route a missed opportunity - Evans

Last year's Rally GB winner Elfyn Evans feels the revamped route for Wales' 2018 World Rally...

Rallying News

Rally seeding rules relaxed

Two-wheel drive and historic rally cars will be able to run first on the road on rally events...

Rallying News

MN Road Rally legends to attend Speed and Rally Show forum

Legends of the Motoring News Road Rally Championship will attend a forum at this weekend’s...

Rallying News

New push to get privateers back in WRC

World Rally Championship organisers are mounting a new push to get privateers back in the series'...

Rallying News

Toyota rules out team orders to boost Tanak

Toyota team principal Tommi Makinen has ruled out making Ott Tanak a clear number one and imposing...

Exploring karting's family tree

It’s commonly defined by professional racing drivers as the purest form of motorsport. It’s...

Rallying News

Kelly to make surprise Killarney return

Manus Kelly will make a surprise visit to the International Rally of the Lakes in Killarney...

Rallying News

Rally GB to unveil major route revamp

A significantly different route for Rally GB 2018, Britain's World Rally Championship round,...

Rallying News

Rovanpera hospitalised after Argentina crash

Kalle Rovanpera was hospitalised for checks after crashing out of the Rally Argentina WRC2 lead...

Rallying News

Ford sets out conditions for works RX return

Ford wants to see how the future of rallycross develops amid changes in America and plans for...

Racing News

Ingram takes victory in Donington Race 2

Tom Ingram became the first two-time winner in this season's British Touring Car Championship...

Racing News

Cook claims maiden BTCC victory

Josh Cook has broken his victory duck in the British Touring Car Championship, taking his Power...

1 2 3 52

More national news, in-depth race reports and analysis. Subscribe to the Motorsport News paper today.

What’s On

This weekend

No Events

Later

No Events

This weekend

No Events

Later

No Events

X