After being comprehensively outpaced by McLaren rookie Stoffel Vandoorne at the Bahrain Grand Prix, it was yet another reminder that Jenson Button’s F1 career is over.
After being parachuted in to the cockpit last minute, Stoffel Vandoorne’s first ever F1 weekend was nothing short of epic. The renegade Belgium driver, who many believe will be a future world champion, stepped into the car on Saturday and showed Button who’s boss when he outperformed him in Q2. For an inexerperienced racer like Vandoorne, this should never happen. Unless of course your teammate is Jenson Button, who is somewhat of an aging prune in the F1 paddock. Button should’ve left the sport in 2012 after it became clear he couldn’t compete with the big boys anymore, but several new contracts with McLaren has tarnished an otherwise stellar career.
“Vandoorne’s qualifying lap was superb. It was connected all the way through, whereas Jenson Button didn’t quite get every sector right,” said Maurice Hamilton, an F1 analyst.
The time has surely come for Button to stop racing. After being being comfortably outperformed by Lewis Hamilton in two of their three seasons together, Button has since endured a trio of miserable years in an uncompetitive car. 2016 isn’t looking any better, with the Brit yet to score a point in two races.
Button has publically stated that he’s not scared of “retirement,” so why doesn’t the veteran hang up the helmet and move on to a new phase in his life?
“I don’t fear retiring at all,” the Brit said at last year’s Russian Grand Prix. “There are so many things I want to do after Formula One. I’ve always given 100 per cent in my career. Every second of every day has been about Formula One. It’s been about racing, it’s been about getting the maximum out of me, the car, and the team.”
Meanwhile, Stoffel Vandoorne has proved himself in every Formula of racing. It seems grossly unfair that a younger, fitter and quicker driver is sidelined in favor of Button. While some might argue Fernando Alonso too is finished, the Spaniard is still the biggest draw in the sport after proving he can contend for World Championships in uncompetitive cars.