MAGIC MILESTONE: McLaren Honda's British driver Jenson Button smiles during a press conference ahead of the F1 Malaysia Grand Prix in Sepang, his 300th race. Image: AFP / Mohd Rasfan
Sepang - McLaren's Jenson Button admitted Thursday he thinks it "unbelievable" that he will become only the third member of an exclusive club when he starts his 300th grand prix in Malaysia this weekend.
The 36-year-old will join Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello in the 300 club, providing he makes it away from the grid at Sepang on Sunday (October 1).
'It definitely sucks you in, F1'
It will be his 303rd Formula 1 race weekend but in 2005 he was disqualified in San Marino and failed to start in the USA the same fate befalling the Englishman in Bahrain in 2015.
Button told media ahead of Sunday's event: "I remember when Rubens got to 300, it was unbelievable he'd reached 300 grands prix.
"I was like, 'I'm never going to race for that long'. And here I am at 36 and this weekend I'm starting my 300th grand prix. It definitely sucks you in, F1. It doesn't let go for a long time, as long as you are performing."
Watch: Jenson Button's career highlights
Button started as a 20-year-old with Williams back in 2000 and has won 15 grands prix and one World Championship title in 2009 with Brawn.
Barrichello leads the all-time list with 326 GP starts while Schumacher had 306. Button will get to 305 by the end of this season.
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He intends to take next year off but has an option to return in 2018 when he could equal Barrichello's record if the season, like this year, comprises 21 races.
Button isn't thinking that far ahead "It's been a great ride to 300," he said.
"Lots of ups and downs, as every career will have, and the important thing is that you stay on top of those bad times and you enjoy the good times as much as you can, because you never know how long they are going to last."