At 33 years old, former World Champion Jenson Button doesn’t sense the impending end of his Formula One career. But once he does finish his days in F1, he’s hoping to find himself a new challenge.
As for what Button plans to do at that point, we know this much: He won’t be taking a page from ex-Red Bull man Mark Webber’s playbook and head off to sports car racing.
In comments made to Autosport, Button says that while he’d like to drive the famous Circuit de la Sarthe – home of the 24 Hours of Le Mans – in a sports car, he doesn’t want to deal with having to wind his way through the cars of the slower categories during a race.
“Le Mans never really ticked the boxes for me,” he said. “You are racing with cars that are so much slower, in different categories, and dodging cars throughout the whole race is not something that I have ever got that excited about…But each to their own as obviously a lot of people do love it.”
Indeed, one could assume that navigating through the multiple categories in sports car racing can be a patience-sapping exercise for any racer. But perhaps he may change his mind one day – perhaps after taking stock of what Webber does in the World Endurance Championship from this year onward with Porsche?
In any case, there’s still some business to attend to in F1 for Button. He signed a one-year extension this past fall with McLaren, but could be a hot commodity in 2015.
No doubt he can raise his stock if he helps McLaren return to its winning ways after a disastrous 2013 and stays ahead of promising rookie teammate Kevin Magnussen while doing so.
Lewis Hamilton and Sebastien Vettel are the two most decorated drivers currently on the Formula 1 grid, with seven World Championships between them (four for Vettel, and three for Hamilton).
However, their paths have rarely crossed on the track, and only in 2010 did both drivers battle each for a World Championship in the same year. They also battled Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber that year, with Vettel emerging on top to claim his first World Championship.
However, the 2017 season sees Hamilton and Vettel in the two best cars on the grid, and they have gone head-to-head multiple times already this year, with each claiming two victories through the first five races. Currently, Vettel leads Hamilton 104-98 in the world championship, and the two men are developing a strong on-track rivalry.
Monaco Grand Prix coverage continues with FP3 and qualifying on Saturday. Full times are linked here.
In Friday’s NASCAR AMERICA Motorsports Special on NBCSN, we take you behind the scenes during F1 superstar Fernando Alonso’s qualifying runs for the Indy 500, including when he was on the pole for a brief period. He’ll eventually start fifth.
On Friday’s NASCAR AMERICA Motorsports Special on NBCSN, Parker Kligerman and his backseat driver, Kyle Petty, took to the iRacing simulator to make a mock run around Indianapolis Motor Speedway in preparation for Sunday’s Indianapolis 500.
They look at the challenges of IMS, as well as the challenges two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso will face in the first oval track race in his illustrious career. Alonso is among the favorites in the race and will take the green flag from the middle of Row 2 (fifth position).
Check out the above video.
Sunday is the biggest day of the year in motorsports, starting in the morning with Formula 1’s legendary Monaco Grand Prix.
Then, at Noon ET, it’s the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The final part of the tripleheader of racing is NASCAR’s longest race of the season, the 400-lap, 600-mile Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Newly-named NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2018 inductee Ken Squier gives you a great primer for what promises to be a memorable day around the world (see video above).