Sabbatical was never likely, says Jenson

Jenson Button has said that the possibility of his taking a year out was never a strong one. The Englishman, who has won only one F1 race, was left in limbo when Honda pulled out of the sport in December 2008. Before the Brawn GP project was announced, it looked as though there were few options for Button. But he told Reuters yesterday that he never seriously considered a sabbatical year.

”What would I do sat at home? There’s nothing out there for me at the moment. I’m 29 years old, still a kid in my eyes, and I’ve still a lot to prove in Formula One. In five or six years, if [Honda pulling out] happened then, I might walk away and look to do something else, but that’s not my aim at the moment. It’s to be here on the grid and show I can win races,” he said.

Even accounting for testing variables, the relative pace of the new Brawn GP BGP 001 car surprised almost everyone yesterday at Barcelona. Button talked up the team’s prospects for the year ahead, and said that the team could be winning races sooner than expected.

”There’s a good possibility of that in the future,” promised the man from Frome.

Button added that the team’s renewal had allowed him to experience a personal rejuvenation, after the two previous seasons in which the Honda machinery had not been up to the standard required.

”I feel like a kid again, getting into a Formula One car, it’s so exciting. It feels like 2000 again, but with nine years of experience, so it’s the perfect position to be in. I have the experience, but I also have the hunger to achieve – and I’m not the only one that feels like that within the team. It’s all of us, especially after having produced a car I think is competitive – and very different to the last two cars.”

The team continues to test today at the Circuit de Catalunya.