Button to announce retirement after McLaren talks falter (Update)

UPDATE (GMM) Jenson Button has admitted he has made a decision about his future in formula one.

Multiple British newspapers on Monday claimed F1's veteran of 16 consecutive seasons is preparing to announce his retirement ahead of this weekend's Japanese grand prix.

McLaren has an option on the 2009 world champion's services for 2016, but amid the Honda-powered team's poor performance this year, the reports revealed that Button has taken the decision into his own hands.

Fellow Briton and world champion Damon Hill, who similarly made a difficult decision to retire during the 1999 season, interviewed Button after the Singapore grand prix and says he sensed the 35-year-old had made his mind up.

"I'm not certain, he may stay, but when we spoke with him he was at ease with whatever was coming his way," Hill told the Guardian.

For his part, Button hinted that the struggles of the past seasons, and particularly this year as he languished at the back of the pack, have sapped his "joy" of being in F1.

There are rumors he will split his time between Le Mans and some television broadcasting work from 2016.

"The joy is only there if you're fighting at the front, because you feel like you're achieving something," said Button.

"If you're fighting near the back you're still driving an F1 car, but you can easily get joy driving something else. The joy you get is competing. It's about fighting at the front."

The Mirror newspaper quoted Button as admitting he feels more relaxed now that he has made a decision.

"Totally. I have made that decision, that's the important thing. It is always nice to make an announcement when you are at your home grand prix," he said, presumably referring to Japan, the native country of his wife Jessica.

Hill added: "My gut feeling is that he'll call it a day. He's had a long period doing this and doing something different maybe has more appeal."


Button wasn't going to risk his life for little pay in the back of the grid McLaren Honda

(GMM) Jenson Button is preparing to announce his decision to end his sixteen-year F1 career, according to multiple British reports on Monday.

With McLaren's contract option on the British driver for 2016 set to expire at the end of September, and the parties rumored to have been bickering over a scheduled pay increase, 35-year-old Button is said to have decided to take the decision into his own hands.

He has resolved to "bow out on his terms after another season in an uncompetitive car", said Daniel Johnson, correspondent for the Telegraph.

The reports said Button, the 2009 world champion who also drove for Williams, Benetton and Honda, has selected this weekend's Japanese grand prix as the scene of his announcement due to his affinity for the country.

Writing in the Times, Kevin Eason said McLaren supremo Ron Dennis wanted Button to stay beyond 2016 but has "accepted his driver's decision".

Button will almost certainly be replaced by either McLaren reserve Kevin Magnussen, or fellow team junior Stoffel Vandoorne, who is dominating the GP2 championship.

15-time grand prix winner Button has been linked with a move to Le Mans endurance racing as well as television broadcasting, such as F1 commentary or presenting on the BBC program Top Gear.

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