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
Why a misunderstood Kimi Raikkonen will thrive in retirement Prime

Why a misunderstood Kimi Raikkonen will thrive in retirement

Three years on from Kimi Raikkonen's last Grand Prix victory at Austin, he is now six races away from ending the longest Formula 1 career in history. His friend and former Ice1 Racing rally team PR man Anthony Peacock explains why there’s nobody quite like the 2007 world champion and why F1 will miss him (but he won’t miss it).

How Verstappen has become F1 champion material Prime

How Verstappen has become F1 champion material

As Red Bull and Honda go all-out for victory in the Japanese engine manufacturer’s last season of its latest Formula 1 dalliance, Max Verstappen finds himself thrust into a compelling title fight with Lewis Hamilton. He told OLEG KARPOV about his evolution into a world championship contender and why Red Bull's no compromise ethos suits him down to the ground

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021
Why long-run times should please Red Bull in Austin F1 battle Prime

Why long-run times should please Red Bull in Austin F1 battle

Mercedes has been on a roll of late in the ultra-tight fight to win the 2021 Formula 1 world championship. It started off well in practice at Austin for this weekend’s US Grand Prix, but Red Bull got closer as Friday unfolded and even seemed to find an edge in one critical area of what seems set to be set to be another close contest.

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021
The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen Prime

The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen

The 2021 Formula 1 title battle is finely poised with six races remaining, as just six points separate championship leader Max Verstappen from seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton. In such a closely-fought season, the outcome could hinge on several small factors playing the way of Red Bull or Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021
Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed? Prime

Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed?

Aston Martin owner Lawrence Stroll is determined to make the group a billion-dollar business. MARK GALLAGHER analyses his latest play – bringing former McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh into the fold

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021
Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner Prime

Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner

Stepping up to F1 in 1962, Jo Siffert shone with Rob Walker Racing Team and BRM before his career was abruptly ended in a fatal crash at Brands Hatch in 1971. Kevin Turner looks back at the life of Switzerland's first F1 winner on the 50th anniversary of his death

Formula 1
Oct 21, 2021
What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat Prime

What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat

OPINION: Max Verstappen is back in the lead of the 2021 Formula 1 drivers’ championship, with the season’s final flyaway events set to get underway in the USA this weekend. But a defensive stance he’s recently adopted could have a lasting impact for the Red Bull driver when it comes to his chances of defeating Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 21, 2021
The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest Prime

The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest

Despite appearing to adjust to life as a Ferrari driver with relative ease, it was far from straightforward under the surface for Carlos Sainz. But, having made breakthroughs in rather different routes at the Russian and Turkish races, he’s now targeting even greater feats for the rest of the Formula 1 season

Formula 1
Oct 20, 2021