Oct.8 (GMM/Inautonews.com) Two formula one veterans have played down suggestions they are racing towards retirement.
31-year-old Jenson Button, the 2009 world champion, has just signed a new multi-year McLaren contract but he admitted at Suzuka that he could go on to ink another one.
The Briton is enjoying a solid run of form at present and looks set to outscore his highly rated teammate Lewis Hamilton in the 2011 points standings.
“I’ve been asked if this is my last contract and, probably, two years ago, I would have said definitely,” Button said.
“Even last year I probably would have said definitely. But time flies and I think it (retirement) will end up going back and back.
“I’m really enjoying where I am at the moment and, hopefully, this feeling will continue. If it does, I might be racing for a lot more years,” he added.
Another F1 veteran commonly believed to be closer to retirement than the beginning of his career is Mark Webber, who only has a contract with Red Bull until the end of 2012.
But he told F1’s official website that he could be on the grid for “many more years”.
“Yes, if I can keep up the racing I’m doing now,” said the 35-year-old Australian. “I think retirement is overrated. I think the first few weeks it’s nice, but then…
“I enjoy my driving and I like the challenge on this level — and if you have the possibility to do this then why walk away?” added Webber.
He also made clear that when he does hang up his helmet, he will also permanently check out of the F1 paddock.
“I haven’t thought so much of what I would do after F1, but it’s definitely not here,” Webber told Yahoo Singapore.
“Why? Because of the politics — I really don’t like it.”