Jenson Button’s intentions for 2015 may not yet be clear, but the Briton has no plans to retire from Formula 1 for the time being despite many believing he could turn his back on the sport at the end of the season.
The 2009 word champion has led McLaren’s charge ever since Lewis Hamilton left at the end of 2012, but as part of the ongoing rebuilding process going on at Woking, the team is thought to be targeting a top name driver. Fernando Alonso has been linked with a move back to McLaren, and Sebastian Vettel is also thought to have been subject to an offer.
Button’s current contract expires at the end of this season, and although he is yet to speak to McLaren about a new deal, he confirmed to Autosport that he has no plans to walk away from the sport.
“Right now, my interest is to race in F1,” Button said. “You have a tough day and it hurts like hell because you want to be competitive and fighting, but then you have a reasonable qualifying and you are back on track.
“You want to race forever. In F1 the emotions are all over the place, its highs, its lows. I have lived my life like that for a long time and I want to continue my life like that.”
Button’s motivation and passion for racing has been questioned following the death of his father, John, during the off-season, but the Briton has thanked his fans for their support during this difficult time.
His results in Australia and Great Britain prove that he still has the pace to compete, and with Honda power set to take McLaren back to the front of the grid in 2015, Button could yet add to his current tally of 15 victories in Formula 1.
Carlos Sainz Jr.
Teams: Scuderia Toro Rosso (1-16), Renault (17-20)
Car No.: 33
Best Finish: P4 (Singapore)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Championship Position: 9th
Carlos Sainz Jr. has always been compared to Max Verstappen given their relative rise and stint together at Toro Rosso, but the Spaniard began to forge his own impressive path through 2017, securing himself a works drive with Renault in the process.
Alongside the struggling Daniil Kvyat for much of the season, Sainz led Toro Rosso’s charge, scoring 48 of its 53 points with a string of impressive drives. His headline moment came in Singapore when he matched Verstappen’s best result in Toro Rosso colors by finishing fourth, capitalizing on the start-line crash and the wet weather with a strong display.
Sainz’s displays led to a call from Renault, who announced just two days before his star display in Singapore he would be joining up for 2018 on loan from Red Bull. However, the deal was accelerated after a deal was brokered to secure Jolyon Palmer’s departure, allowing Sainz to join up from the United States GP onwards.
Sainz made an immediate impression, completing a perfect race en route to seventh on debut for Renault to secure six points that would prove crucial in the final constructors’ championship standings as the French team beat Toro Rosso to P6 in the standings at the last race of the year.
Red Bull retains an option on Sainz’s future beyond 2018, making him a candidate for a seat with its senior team should Daniel Ricciardo opt to leave. Failing that, Renault could offer Sainz the platform he needs to continue his rapid rise in F1 and establish himself at the front of the pack for many years to come.
Season High: Finishing fourth in Singapore after dodging the start-line drama.
Season Low: Crashing out in his final Toro Rosso appearance on the first lap at Suzuka.