Jenson Button’s illustrious 16-year career could be coming to an end after speculation around the Formula One paddock that his current race seat at McLaren could be under threat from young starlet Stoffel Vandoorne.
The 2009 World Champion has had a fantastic career, but recently, since the partnership between McLaren and Honda, many have questioned his motivation to continue in the sport.
McLaren released a statement that they will consider the driver situation in September, which has caused a lot of speculation about the future of the former World Champion.
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"Because we don't want to destroy this year, we don't want to talk before September," said Eric Boullier, McLaren's racing director.
“If we start to speak before then, it is going to make the drivers' head go wrong.
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"It [who McLaren choose] depends which stage you are in with your restructuring of the team and the path to win.
“You need experience, but you also need youth because it means new blood, and also pushing as well the experienced driver [team-mate] to not be in a comfortable zone.”
Reports have surfaced that Williams could be interested in signing Button for the 2017 season, as current driver, Felipe Massa may not be on the grid next year. Button's move to Williams could leave Massa without a drive for 2017, which would be a huge shock considering his reputation within the sport.
Williams deputy team principal, Claire Williams, has stated they are in talks with a lot of drivers, and Button is not the only driver currently being considered for a seat.
"We are talking to them and we are having other conversations with other drivers in the paddock to see what other opportunities there are," Williams told Sky Sports News HQ.
"But that's not to say we aren't happy with the job Valtteri and Felipe are doing. We have a great line-up, but no decision has been made. We just have to work through the conversations."
The former Williams, Benetton, BAR, Honda and Brawn driver, has amassed 292 starts and became World Champion in 2009 driving for Brawn.
The popular driver has gained plaudits from pundits and drivers alike for his smooth style and ability to preserve the tyres.
If Button doesn’t get a seat for 2017, it will be a loss to the Formula One paddock, as his experience and speed is extremely valuable for any team.
Button’s 2009 season was underlined by a stunning opening six races, in which he amassed the majority of his wins. This propelled him into a McLaren seat alongside Lewis Hamilton, and then Fernando Alonso.
After making the move, Button was not overshadowed by Hamilton, and even beat him in the 2011 season, finishing second behind four-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel.
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