Button to take a sabbatical year


F1 veteran Jenson Button announced that he will step down from F1 next year. The Briton remains tied with McLaren, but in a different role. The former champion will be the team's ambassador and reserve driver from next year.

After Felipe Massa announced earlier at the weekend that he will retire from F1 following his long carrier, Jenson Button chose the Saturday of the Italian GP weekend to let his future plans know.

The Briton will, however, stay in F1 as he will work as McLaren's reserve driver and the company's ambassador. Button's race seat will be occupied by former GP2 champion Stoffel Vandoorne.

McLaren communicated that it gives Button the option to reconsider his plans at the end of next year. If Fernando Alonso decides to retire or to end his contract with the Woking-based squad, he can come back as racing driver.

Button started his F1 carrier at Williams, then moved to Benetton-Renault, Renault, Honda, Brawn and has been racing for McLaren for seven years.