Jenson Button considered bid to compete for Team GB in triathlon at 2016 Olympic Games


Away from Formula 1, it is publicly known that McLaren driver Jenson Button is a very accomplished triathlete.

But few would have guessed that the British driver actually considered competing for Team GB at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Button took up triathlon back in 2008 during a difficult spell with Honda as he looked to find a source of escapism from the busy F1 world.

Although he managed to turn his on-track fortunes around to win the 2009 world championship, the British driver did not scale back his competitive triathlon commitments, setting up the Ichiban Triathlon Team to take part in events.

Speaking with British newspaper the Daily Mirror, Button revealed that he considered turning his focus to full-time triathlon and a bid to compete at Rio next year when his F1 career was left in the lurch last winter.

“I did think about Rio,” Button said, “and then decided ‘no’.”

“First of all I am way too old; about 10 years too old compared to the Brownlee brothers [Alistair and Jonathan, gold and bronze medallists respectively at London 2012].

“So it’s definitely not for me. I’m a pretty good amateur athlete but anyone at the top of their game as a professional is at a completely different level to that.”

McLaren had considered dropping Button in favor of Fernando Alonso for the 2015 season, but eventually opted to retain the Briton and bench his former teammate, Kevin Magnussen. Despite taking a sizeable pay cut, Button secured a two-year deal with the team, ensuring him a place in F1 until he is 36.

IndyCar disappointed by delay of video game but aiming to launch at start of 2024

IndyCar video game 2024

An IndyCar executive said there is “absolutely” disappointment that its long-awaited video game recently was delayed beyond its target date, but the series remains optimistic about the new title.

“Well, I don’t know how quick it will be, but the whole situation is important to us,” Penske Entertainment president and CEO Mark Miles said during a news conference Monday morning to announce IndyCar’s NTT title sponsorship. “Motorsport Games has spent a lot of money, a lot of effort to create an IndyCar title. What we’ve seen of that effort, which is not completely obvious, is very reassuring.

“I think it’s going to be outstanding. That’s our shared objective, that when it is released, it’s just widely accepted. A great credit both to IndyCar racing, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, something that our fans love.”

In June 2021, IndyCar announced a new partnership with Motorsport Games to create and distribute an IndyCar video game for the PC and Xbox and PlayStation consoles in 2023.

But during an earnings call last week, Motorsport Games said the IndyCar game had been delayed to 2024 to ensure high quality.

Somewhat compounding the delay is that IndyCar’s license for iRacing expired after the end of the 2022 season because of its exclusive agreement with Motorsport Games.

That’s resulted in significant changes for IndyCar on iRacing, which had provided a high-profile way for the series to stay visible during its 2020 shutdown from the pandemic. (Players still can race an unbranded car but don’t race on current IndyCar tracks, nor can they stream).

That’s helped ratchet up the attention on having a video game outlet for IndyCar.

“I wish we had an IndyCar title 10 years ago,” said Miles, who has been working with the organization since 2013. “We’ve been close, but we’ve had these I think speed bumps.”

IndyCar is hopeful the Motorsports Game edition will be ready at the start of 2024. Miles hinted that beta versions could be unveiled to reporters ahead of the time “to begin to show the progress in a narrow way to make sure we’ve got it right, to test the progress so that we’re ready when they’re ready.”

It’s been nearly 18 years since the release of the most recent IndyCar video game for console or PC.

“(We) better get it right,” Miles said. “It’s something we’re very close to and continue to think about what it is to make sure we get it over the line in due course.”