Formula 1

Could Jenson Button bid farewell to F1 after 2014?

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Few people have had an Formula 1 career like Jenson Button, the Briton burst onto the scene as a fresh-faced 20-year-old back in 2000 and has endured a varied yet storied career which reached it's peak back in 2009.

Now, at the age of 34, Button is entering a much different stage of his life after the sudden loss of his father John earlier in the year. Button Sr. was a huge part of Jenson's racing life after having supported him throughout, as a result it is very hard to imagine what not having 'Papa Smurf' there will mean mentally for Button Jr..

There is no doubt that as the most experienced man on the F1 grid the curtains on Jenson's career are beginning to be drawn, but after a dismal 2013 with McLaren, as well as facing increased competition for his seat from within his own team, added to that the effect of death of his father, are fans facing Button's last hurrah sooner than we thought?

Certainly a lot will dependent on what effect the loss of John Button has, for Jenson 2014 could be a year of 'doing it in memory' of his father, as we saw in Jerez it is likely he will remember John by placing a sticker of Papa Smurf on his helmet, but by not having the man who was always there, now no longer with him, it will be a very strange feeling for Jenson and one McLaren situation may have to deal with.

This potential change in attitude could also come amid a time of great change at the Woking team, Ron Dennis is back in charge with Eric Boullier currently the highest level member of the racing team.

Though another man, to be named at a later date, will eventually take over from the deposed Martin Whitmarsh the effect this has on the team operationally could be influential in Button's future plans.

The performance of the MP4-29 is also a key part, though this year is really a transitional year ahead of perhaps the biggest change, the partnership with Honda, in 2015, if Button sees his chances of adding to his win tally diminishing then that will only feed a potential lack of motivation.

Considering what is happening in 2015 then perhaps that is all the motivation Button needs, the chance to reconnect with former employers Honda has always made the likelihood of Jenson staying on for a few years yet more plausible.

Yet now the team is placing it's confidence in driver's coming through the young driver program, the likes of Kevin Magnussen who steps up this year after winning Formula Renault 3.5 last year. Then there is Stoffel Vandoorne who finished as runner-up to Magnussen in the same series.

Both are being touted a future stars and then there remains the rumours surrounding Fernando Alonso, though they have gone quiet for now, it would only take another disappointing year at Ferrari for the seemingly repaired relationship to once again show cracks.

Finally there comes the question of Button's own performance, last year I, along with a few others, was very surprised when Sergio Perez was dropped in favour of Magnussen for 2014.

At the time I actually wrote an article questioning if McLaren had fired the wrong guy, in the final flyaway races the Mexican had begun to outshine Button, despite the Briton being on top for much of the rest of the season.

I saw this as Perez settling himself in and then beginning to show more of the speed that he had shown on several occasions with Sauber the year before.

Though Button got the best result of fourth in Brazil, Perez actually gained the most positions than Jenson in that final race, recovering from a crash in the wet qualifying that left him 19th on the grid, to eventually finish sixth.

With the uptake in form I thought the signs were good that amid the speculation of Perez's possible axe, actually McLaren would at least stick with Checo alongside Button for this year.

After Magnussen's promotion however if the Dane begins to do what Perez did and beat Button on a regular basis then, with the team already clearing what they deemed as deadwood, could Jenson be the next to be shown the door?

There's no doubting that Button still deserves his place around the top of F1 and with the style of driving needed for 2014 perhaps he can be a dark horse if McLaren turn their fortunes round, but as both driver and team look to the future perhaps we could be heading for a Mark Webber mark II.

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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