Jenson Button's stellar F1 career came to a rather underwhelming end in Abu Dhabi as the Brit was forced to retire with a suspension failure after just 13 laps of his final race in the sport.
The 2009 world champion started in 12th place on the grid and was looking to finish amongst the points for one last time in a career that has brought him over 1200 of them. However, it was not to be for the 36-year-old who struck a somber, yet somewhat accepting figure, as he made his way back into the garage far earlier than anticipated and was greeted by his family.
Button soaked up the adoration of the crowd one last time, standing on his car before exiting the sport he has given so much to over the years.
The McLaren driver ran into problems after clipping a raised curb which seemed to throw his steering off and said over the team radio: "Something feels wrong with the steering. We've got a failure."
After the race, Button told Sky Sports F1: “I really don’t know what the problem is. Something failed on the car which never happens to us. It’s a massive strength of our team, things didn’t fail, but it did today of all days. It’s done, I’ve always said you can’t live in the past.
A fine career
“Live in the moment which is right now, going to get a cold beer when I’m done with this interview!
“I enjoyed today massively, the race was short but I enjoyed everything else. I’ll miss driving the car. Formula One cars are awesome bits of kit but they're pretty frustrating at times.
"The team spirit is awesome at McLaren - I'll miss that. I'll try to find that somewhere else...People will say it's sad Jenson didn't get to end on a high, but I'm content. I've had a fantastic career.
"A massive thank you for your support since 2000 when I was a baby. I've had so many messages of support on social media, those who have watched me since I was 19, when I was a spotty teenager.
"It's been a rollercoaster ride through the years. People will go 'it's so sad Jenson didn't end on a high' but it's not. I'm happy. I'm content. I had a fantastic year in Formula 1."
Earlier in the day, Button posted this sentimental and heartfelt message on his Instagram account: "So I hear today is a pretty big day for me 😉 Today is the day that I will be strapped into an F1 car for probably the last time.
"It's been an eventful 17 years! I'd like to say a massive thank you to everyone that has helped and supported me through the years including family, friends, team members and fans and last but not least my Dad who I'm hoping is looking down on us with pride, miss you papa."
"From when the lights go out at the start of my final race here in Abu Dhabi to when the chequered flag drops I will give it my all and drive with my heart knowing that whatever happens today I will always know I reached my goal and dream in life to become a Formula One World Champion. I arrived with dreams and leave with memories."
Button leaves a lasting legacy in the sport having won a world title with Brawn in 2009 and, aside from his excellence on the track, was always a popular figure amongst drivers and media members alike off it.
Elsewhere in Abi Dhabi, Lewis Hamilton managed to win on the day but Nico Rosberg's second place finish was enough to win him his maiden drivers championship.
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