Jenson Button reveals he almost snubbed McLaren and joined Ferrari

2009 Formula 1 World Champion Jenson Button has revealed how his career could have been panned out in a very different manner.

After Jenson Button’s most successful year in Formula 1, the Brit was left in an unusual position, as his team ceased to exist following its purchase by Mercedes.

In that moment, Button was a desirable target for multiple teams given he was in the prime of his career, leaving him with a number of options for his future in the sport.

Button would ultimately switch to McLaren, where he would remain from 2010-17, but the Brit could have raced for Ferrari if he’d taken a different path.

“I always wanted to race for Ferrari,” Button told La Gazzetta dello Sport. 

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“I really would have liked it. And I came very close.

“When Stefano Domenicali was there, we spoke many times. 

“We had already talked about many points of the contract, but then he left. And the agreement fell apart. 

“I never heard anything again. It’s a real shame. It would have been exciting.”

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Unfortunately for Button, joining McLaren left him unable to repeat his 2009 success, as Sebastian Vettel began a period of dominance winning the next four Drivers’ titles for Red Bull.

At the end of the 2017 season, Button left McLaren, turning his focus to other racing ventures and away from the increasingly gruelling Formula 1 calendar.

The former driver is now a regular face in the paddock, as he appears on Sky Sports as a pundit, as well as working as an advisor for the Williams F1 team.

Jenson took up the role at Williams in 2021 on a multi-year deal, working with the team’s academy drivers, as well as an ambassador for the Constructor.

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“I love Formula 1. I was here for 17 years, it was my job, my life,” Button said. “But it makes you selfish.”

“I felt so much pressure on me that at one point I had the need to continue racing but in a more relaxed way. Just having fun. 

“I think the drivers generally help on this aspect. Many sportsmen have a mental coach but not really in F1. I didn’t have one, and at a certain point it was all too much. 

“I miss driving an F1 car, because it’s the most beautiful thing in the world. There’s no comparison with any other car.