Jenson Button rules out Le Mans debut

F1i 10:54 20/11/2016
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Button will not make the switch to Le Mans racing.

The Briton will step down from his McLaren-Honda seat at the end of the current campaign, with reserve driver Stoffel Vandoorne promoted alongside Fernando Alonso in 2017.

Button remains contracted with his current team for another two years though, and will serve as an ambassador and its reserve driver next season.

Asked whether this means he has to pilot Honda-powered machines when competing outside of grand prix racing, the 2009 world champion replied: “I don’t think it has to be, but obviously those are the easiest programmes for me to do, yes.

“Nothing is set in stone, but I am sure they would not 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, because the right opportunity isn’t there, but hopefully will be in the future.”

Having already included Japan’s Super GT and rallycross on his wishlist, Button explains that he would be more interested in taking part in one-off events than in full campaigns as the 36-year-old seeks to catch a break after 17 seasons in F1.

“I might do Suzuka 1000kms in Super GT. It would be nice if that works out. It is just logistics really. Apart from that I might do some rallycross in America and do some testing in something else.

“There is lots I can do and I have just got to choose how much I really want to do next year. I want more of a rest.”

Although rallycross has a world and European series, Honda is chiefly involved in America’s GRC. Button also said ahead of this year’s USGP that he has been “spending more and more time in the States recently”

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