Button firming up rallycross and GT plans for 2017

Jenson Button is still firming up his racing plans for 2017 – and rallycross and the Japanese Super GT Series both look set feature on his schedule.

Button firming up rallycross and GT plans for 2017
Jenson Button, McLaren MP4-31
Jenson Button, McLaren MP4-31
Start action
#100 Team Kunimitsu Honda NSX Concept GT: Naoki Yamamoto, Takuya Izawa
#38 Team Zent Cerumo Lexus RC F: Yuji Tachikawa, Hiroaki Ishiura and #12 Team Impul Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3: Hironobu Yasuda, Joao Paulo de Oliveira
Joni Wiman, Honda
Sebastian Eriksson, Honda

However, the Brit is adamant that he will not complete a full season in any discipline in his first year outside F1, as he wants to enjoy some time off.

A full year in Super GT with Honda was a prior possibility, but Button says he is only to contest the series' headlining event - the Suzuka 1000km race in August, for which teams employ third drivers.

Meanwhile, Button looks set to run some events in the US-based Global Rallycross Championship, rather than the FIA World Rallycross series.

Honda currently fields the Civic Coupe in the GRC, with backing from Red Bull, for Sebastian Eriksson and Joni Wiman.

Button insisted that his plans are not yet set in stone, but he made his preferences clear.

“I might do the Suzuka 1000 kilometres Super GT,” said the McLaren driver. “It would be nice if that works out, but it’s logistics really.

"Apart from that, I might do some rallycross in America, and do some testing in something else in rallycross. There’s lots that I can do, and I’ve just got to choose how much I really want to do next year, or have more of a rest.”

Asked about running a full rallycross season in 2017, Button said: “That won’t happen next year. In the future, definitely.

"I think it’s a massively growing sport, especially with Audi pulling out of Le Mans, and VW pulling out of rallying. I know their main aim is not rallycross, but it will definitely help their rallycross programmes.”

Intriguingly, the Briton reckoned that his ongoing McLaren ties would not necessarily restrict him to competing with Honda machinery only.

“I don’t think it has to be [the case], but obviously those are the easiest programmes for me to do, yes.

“Obviously if I get offered a drive, I will speak to the team about it. Nothing is set is stone, but I am sure they wouldn’t want me racing for a main competitor of Honda, which is completely understandable. I understand that.

"I won’t be racing at Le Mans next year, for example, the right opportunity isn’t there, but hopefully it will be in the future.”

Button made it clear that he wants to enjoy his racing in the future: “I’ve achieved what I set out to in F1. Obviously we all want to win more races, and more world titles, but you get what you’re given, and you take every opportunity that you’re given.

"I’m pretty happy with what I’ve achieved. Now I move forward, and I race for fun.

“I don’t have to worry about things that most of us have to worry about in life, I can focus on having fun and enjoying myself. That’s exactly what I’m aiming at doing next year.

"I won’t be doing a full programme in anything, it will be bits here and there, to get a good feel for where I feel I want to be in the future.”

shares
comments
Horner unimpressed by Ferrari's bid to challenge Vettel penalty
Previous article

Horner unimpressed by Ferrari's bid to challenge Vettel penalty

Next article

Liberty Media considering F1 streaming plans

Liberty Media considering F1 streaming plans
Load comments
The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Prime

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as Ben Anderson discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren Prime

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren

From being lapped by his own teammate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

Formula 1
Nov 26, 2021
The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title Prime

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title

As the battle continues to rage over the F1 2021 drivers' championship, teams up and down the grid are turning their attentions to the prize money attributed to each position in the constructors' standings. But F1's sliding scale rules governing wind tunnel and CFD use will soften the blow for those who miss out on the top places

Formula 1
Nov 25, 2021
The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher Prime

The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher

After winning his past few Formula 1 titles as a canter, Lewis Hamilton currently trails Max Verstappen by eight points heading into the final double-header of 2021. Although Red Bull has been his biggest on-track challenge, Hamilton feels that he has just as much to grapple with away from the circuit

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2021
Why F1's inconvenient penalties have to stay Prime

Why F1's inconvenient penalties have to stay

OPINION: Quibbles over the length of time taken by Formula 1's stewards over decisions are entirely valid. But however inconvenient it is, there can be no questioning the importance of having clearly defined rules that everyone understands and can stick to. Recent events have shown that ambiguity could have big consequences

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021's title fight climax Prime

The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021's title fight climax

OPINION: Red Bull has had Formula 1’s fastest package for most of 2021, but in several of the title run-in events it has wasted the RB16B’s potential. It cannot afford to do so again with Lewis Hamilton motoring back towards Max Verstappen in the drivers’ standings with two rounds remaining

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
Qatar Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Qatar Grand Prix driver ratings

Qatar was a virtual unknown for most as Formula 1 made its inaugural visit to the Gulf state, and tyre management quickly emerged as an even more critical factor than normal. Perhaps then it should come as no surprise that two of the championship's elder statesmen produced standout drives

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2021
How Hamilton dominated in Qatar despite missing a key Mercedes advantage Prime

How Hamilton dominated in Qatar despite missing a key Mercedes advantage

There was simply no stopping Lewis Hamilton on Formula 1's first visit to Qatar. The Mercedes driver eased to pole position and led every lap to secure an utterly dominant victory - even without a key Mercedes weapon in his arsenal to increase the heat on Red Bull heading into the final two races of the gripping 2021 title race

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2021