Jenson Button managed to drive for several teams in his lengthy Formula One career. Williams, Benetton, Renault, BAR, Honda, Brawn and McLaren were all Button’s teams at one stage or another.
There is a team that he missed out on though, one that had been on his wishlist since the start…
“If it was the right situation, yeah of course I would have loved to drive for Ferrari. Three teams that I wanted to drive for in F1 when I arrived, and they were Williams, Ferrari and McLaren, and I’ve driven for two of them. There was an opportunity at one point, but I thought this was the best place to be.”
– Jenson Button
— McLaren (@McLarenF1) November 27, 2016
The red-liveried car does seem to continue to make current drivers infatuate. They are the oldest team and still revered as one of the most important teams on the grid. Button did start his career at Williams though after winning the 1998 Formula Ford Championship and showing some impressive form in Formula Three a year later, including a podium finish at the tricky Macau GP.
Button believes that it’s easier for younger drivers to land a seat in Formula One these days. He said,
“It’s easier if you’ve got the talent. For me, I had no experience when I arrived in F1. I had no idea how to set a car up. One year in Formula Ford, one year in Formula Three, into F1.
Didn’t have simulators then, nowhere near as much data. Now, drivers have hours and hours in the simulator, like Stroll’s got his own test team as far as I’ve heard. He’s done all the circuits on his own… in a two-year-old Williams.
We had nothing like that back then, we were thrown in at the deep end and our engines kept blowing up at Williams. We did a lap and then it would blow up, so first race I didn’t even have a super-licence!”
– Jenson Button
Button’s immediate plans for the future remain vague, although he has hinted at Rallycross and will continue to be involved with McLaren-Honda.