Jenson Button says focusing on enjoying Formula 1 has helped relieve the pressure he has been feeling because of ongoing uncertainty over his future.
Button is out of contract with McLaren at the end of the 2014 F1 season and is still waiting for the team to offer him a fresh deal. McLaren has been trying to sign Fernando Alonso, who is expected to leave Ferrari at the end of this year, which would mean dropping either Button or teammate Kevin Magnussen for the Spaniard.
Button told reporters ahead of this weekend’s United States Grand Prix that he has recently changed his mindset in order to alleviate the strain of the uncertainty.
“I haven’t heard anything different, so I’m just enjoying myself and looking forward to giving it my all this weekend and getting the best out of myself,” said Button, when asked about the contractual situation at McLaren. “I’m not changing anything in the way I work, I’m just making sure I’m enjoying it and not feeling like I was a few weeks ago – before Japan – where I felt under massive pressure.
“It’s not a nice way to feel. I feel in a much better place now, as I did in Russia, to get my head down and enjoy my racing. What happens next year happens.”
Button has recently been linked with a move to the World Endurance Championship, and the 2009 F1 world champion did not rule out the possibility of making the switch when his time in F1 comes to an end.
“I think anything is possible in life if you have the right situation and circumstances, but that has to be there to make it happen,” Button added.
McLAREN DEAL IS THE FOCUS
Button’s manager Richard Goddard said his driver’s focus remained on staying in F1 with McLaren beyond the current campaign, and that alternatives would only be seriously considered once McLaren had made its decision.
“He’s very loyal to this team; he loves this team and wants to stay at this team, it’s as simple as that,” Goddard said. “He is not going to go and drive at a much lower level because he wants to win; he’s not interested in just making up the numbers.
“If he’s not going to get to win in this championship and he gets offered a fantastic deal somewhere else then perhaps he will go somewhere else.
“We’ve had loads of different approaches – as I would expect – [but] we haven’t had any serious [alternative] conversations.”
NO PLAN B FOR MAGNUSSEN
Button’s rookie teammate Magnussen is also facing an uncertain future. The Dane, however, suggested in Austin that remaining at McLaren in 2015 was his only option.
“I don’t have a plan B; I’m fully focused on plan A,” Magnussen said. “I try not to think too much about it [the future] in a negative way.
“I still have a chance of being here next year, so that’s what I’m focused on.”