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Jenson Button hints Formula 1 return still possible

Retired Formula 1 driver Jenson Button will replace Fernando Alonso at McLaren for the Monaco Grand Prix.

other sports Updated: May 15, 2017 18:56 IST
Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
Formula 1,Jenson Button,McLaren
Jenson Button (L) will replace Fernando Alonso (R) at McLaren for the Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix.(AFP)

Jenson Button, preparing for his one-off comeback with McLaren-Honda at the Monaco Grand Prix, on Monday hinted he could make a u-turn on retirement and make a full-time return to Formula One in 2018.

The 37-year-old 2009 world champion told reporters that he could not rule out a comeback with the team.

“I have a contract with the team to race next year so definitely I would not rule anything out,” he said, when questioned about the future.

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A move to retain Button’s services again may be an option for the troubled McLaren outfit if they fail to convince two-time champion Spaniard Fernando Alonso.

Alonso on Monday flew into Indianapolis to start his preparations for the Indianapolis 500 on May 28, when Button replaces him on a one-off basis at the Monaco Grand Prix.

It had seemed Button’s F1 career was over when he held his retirement party at last year’s end of season Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

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Button said he was contacted by two other teams, offering him a race seat for 2017. “I had so many options to race this year it is hilarious,” he said.

“I am thinking of Monaco as my only race this year. But, obviously, if I am asked again at another point in the year I am here to fill that seat.”

Button has been spending time in the United States this year and on Saturday won his age group competition in an ‘Ironman in California’ contest.

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“It is pretty mad really that I am getting back in a Formula One car,” he said. “But there are no negative thoughts going through my head.

“I don’t have anything to gain, but I don’t have anything to lose either. I am there to help the team out and have some fun -- and it will probably be one of the most fun Grand Prix for me because there is no pressure. It is a one-off so I am really excited about the challenge.”

First Published: May 15, 2017 17:37 IST