Jenson Button speaks to the media ahead of the Brazilian GP. (Photo: Andrew Hone/LAT Photographic)
Jenson Button insists that he still firming up his racing plans for 2017, but the Briton looks certain to complete in some rounds of the Global Rallycross Championship.
Honda currently fields its Civic Coupe in the GRC, with backing from Red Bull, for Sebastian Eriksson and Joni Wiman.
Button is adamant that he will not complete a full season in any discipline in his first year outside F1, as he wants to enjoy some time off.
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Japanese Super GT with Honda was also a possibility, but Button says he will only contest the headlining Suzuka 1000kms in August, where teams employ third drivers.
“I might do the Suzuka 1000kms Super GT,” said Button. “It would be nice if that works out, but it’s logistics really. Apart from that, I might do some rallycross in America, and do some testing in something else in rallycross. There’s lots that I can do, and I’ve just got to choose how much I really want to do next year, or have more of a rest.”
Asked about running a full rallycross season in 2017 he said: “That won’t happen next year. In the future, definitely. I think it’s a massively growing sport, especially with Audi pulling out of Le Mans, and VW pulling out of rallying. I know their main aim is not rallycross, but it will definitely help their rallycross programs.”
Intriguingly, Button said that his ongoing McLaren ties would not necessarily restrict him to competing with Honda machinery.
“I don’t think it has to be, but obviously those are the easiest programs for me to do, yes.
“Obviously if I get offered a drive, I will speak to the team about it. Nothing is set is stone, but I am sure they wouldn’t want me racing for a main competitor of Honda, which is completely understandable. I understand that. I won’t be racing at Le Mans next year for example, the right opportunity isn’t there, but hopefully it will be in the future.”
He made it clear that he wants to enjoy his racing in the future: “I’ve achieved what I set out to in F1. Obviously we all want to win more races, and more world titles, but you get what you’re given, and you take every opportunity that you’re given. I’m pretty happy with what I’ve achieved. Now I move forward, and I race for fun.
“I don’t have to worry about things that most of us have to worry about in life, I can focus on having fun and enjoying myself. That’s exactly what I’m aiming at doing next year. I won’t be doing a full program in anything, it will be bits here and there, and get a good feel for where I feel I want to be in the future.”