Following Lando Norris’ promotion, Jenson Button will not be on the McLaren’s driver roster next year.
On Monday Norris was confirmed to be McLaren’s test and reserve driver for 2018, a back-up role that Button has held this season after stepping down from a race seat at the team.
Yesterday reports emerged that Button’s deal, which expires at the end of this year, will not be renewed. However, Button, who joined McLaren in 2010 when he was reigning world champion, has performed and ambassadorial role for the team this year and is likely to retain close ties to them.
Last month Button said that he wants to return to racing in 2018 but in a category outside of F1.
At the Japanese GP Button said, “Next year I will race something. I don’t know what yet, whether it will be in America, Europe or Japan. There are a few options but I want to do a full season.”
At the end of last season Button stepped down from a McLaren race seat under a revised deal that allowed him to take a year off from racing with the option to return in 2018 if a seat became available.
He filled in for Fernando Alonso at the Monaco GP but at the time he made it clear that it was a one-off.
Since then McLaren have retained Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne as their drivers for 2019.
While speaking at Suzuka Button said, “Do I miss F1? No. I miss racing but I’ve sort of fallen out of love a little bit with motorsport. I think that maybe I left it a year too long racing in Formula 1. It was nice to have another taste for it [in Monaco] and have a taste of these cars but I knew when I finished that weekend I wasn’t going to be back.”