The curtain will close on the 2009 World Champion’s Formula 1 career after 17 consecutive seasons
Sam Sheehan
24 November 2016

Jenson Button will retire from Formula 1 after this weekend’s 2016 season finale at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi.

The 2009 World Champion’s career will draw to a close after 17 consecutive seasons, in which time he’s raced for Williams, Benetton, Renault, BAR, Honda, Brawn GP and McLaren.

Announcing his decision in the build-up to this weekend’s race, 36-year-old Button said: "I go into this weekend thinking it's going to be my last race. I think that's the best way.”

Button, who will be replaced next season by 24-year-old Belgian rookie Stoffel Vandoorne, still has the option to return in 2018 under his two-year contract with McLaren, but he suggested he won’t be taking the option.

"At this moment in time, I don't want to be racing in F1 beyond this year. It is true that I have a contract in 2018 but at this moment in time I am not going to be racing in 2018.”

"The whole point of this [option to return in 2018] was if in three months' time I had eaten myself stupid and I changed my mind. But I don't want to go into this race thinking it's not my last race and it is."

After this weekend, Button will have 305 F1 starts to his name. This will make him the third most experienced F1 driver in history, behind Michael Schumacher (307) and his former teammate, Rubens Barrichello (323). Button has scored 50 podiums, 15 wins and one world title in his 17 years in the world’s premiere racing championship.

Button hasn’t yet confirmed whether he will return to racing in another series, but has previously spoken of his interest in the World Endurance Championship (WEC). His friend and former fellow F1 driver, Mark Webber, has just announced his retirement from the WEC.

Button: why he's earned the right to stop on his own terms

FIA welcomes F1 sale to Liberty Media

Our Verdict

Honda NSX

Honda’s super-sports icon is reborn as a ground-breaking hybrid

Join the debate


24 November 2016
He, as it says in the article, still has an option for 2018...

At this moment, its unlikely that he'll take it up, but he may get fed up with Triathlons and come back.

24 November 2016
Good. Mediocrity at it's finest.

24 November 2016
Mediocrity. Really? I wouldn't put Button in the absolute top bracket of drivers, but he is a member of a very elite group. 17 consecutive seasons and a World Championship not to be sniffed at. I hope he has a crack at Endurance racing - I think he might be well suited to it.

24 November 2016
I quit my office job and now I am getting paid 92 Dollars hourly. How? I work-over internet! My old work was making me miserable, so I was to try-Something different. 2 years after...I can say my life is changed completely for the better.F#1.
Check it out what i do........ >>>>>> NoteNet10.Tk

24 November 2016
Honda haven't done him justice. Time to go away, do a bit of punditry and enjoy your wad, Jenson.

24 November 2016
I disagree. If you want solid bona fide mediocrity then look no further than 2017 WDC elect Rosberg.

24 November 2016
e4gaa wrote:

I disagree. If you want solid bona fide mediocrity then look no further than 2017 WDC elect Rosberg.

Completely agree. I don't care what some say about Hamilton - it's no coincidence that Rosberg doesn't beat Hamilton in wheel to wheel racing. I won't be watching Rosberg lifting the trophy. Regardless of bad starts, if Hamilton's car hadn't broken down and especially in the most recent example when his engine blew when he was leading, he would be ahead in the championship. Roll on next year - Rosberg will not be winning the title again that's for sure. As for Button, great driver and amiable person to boot. He would be great in WEC.

26 November 2016
To be honest he should have quit two years ago,and todays quali's showed that his heart just isn't in t anymore or just now,maybe a break might help,but with young blood coming through who are half his age.i'd do a Webber and go into other forms of racing Cars.

Peter Cavellini.

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Jaguar XF Sportbrake TDV6
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The handsome Jaguar XF Sportbrake exhibits all the hallmarks that makes the saloon great, and with the silky smooth diesel V6 makes it a compelling choice
  • Volkswagen T-Roc TDI
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    Volkswagen's new compact crossover has the looks, the engineering and the build quality to be a resounding success, but not with this diesel engine
  • BMW M550i
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The all-paw M550i is a fast, effortless mile-muncher, but there's a reason why it won't be sold in the UK
  • Volvo V90
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The Volvo V90 is a big estate ploughing its own furrow. We’re about to see if it is refreshing or misguided
  • Kia Stonic
    First Drive
    18 October 2017
    Handsome entrant into the bulging small crossover market has a strong engine and agile handling, but isn’t as comfortable or complete as rivals