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Jenson Button Set to Retire From Formula One

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Jenson ButtonIt looks like this Formula One season might be the last for driver Jenson Button. The Brit is expected to announce an end to his sixteen-season career in Formula One before the race occurring at Suzuka this weekend. Though Button has been negotiating with McLaren, it’s likely he will now bow out, focusing on splitting his career between the World Endurance Championship and media work.

Many people believe Button’s move is to allow him more time to act as one of the new hosts of Top Gear. If this is the case, Button will be joining Chris Evans as the show’s newest gearhead.

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Button’s decision to leave the sport isn’t exactly surprising. The 35-year-old Englishman indicated he was over the sport in a comment made to ESPN after last weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix:

My head knows but my mouth and tongue doesn’t know. The joy of being in the car is only there if you’re fighting at the front, because you feel like you’re achieving something.

If you’re fighting near the back, you’re driving an F1 car, but you can easily get joy driving something else. The joy you get is from competing. It’s about fighting at the front. It’s about the possibility of standing on top of the podium. That’s the joy of F1.

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Jenson Button began his career in Frome, Somerset, England as a kart racer. Now, he has gained a loyal fan base around the world, especially in Japan, which is his wife’s home country.

When Button leaves Formula One, he will be the third most-experienced driver of all time, raking in one world championship title, 15 victories, and 50 podium finishes to his name. He will also have 278 race starts.

If Button does leave, it’s likely McLaren will turn towards a driver with less experience.

News Sources: The Telegraph, ESPN