LAST CONFERENCE? McLaren's Jenson Button (front right) could be out of a job after the 2014 Yas Marina race. Other drivers (anti-clockwise from top right) Rosberg, Hulkenberg, Hamlton, Vettel and Alsonso. Image: AP / Kamran Jebreili
YAS MARINA, Abu Dhabi - Jenson Button is determined to enjoy every minute of today’s (Nov 23) 2014 Abu Dhabi Formula 1 GP while hoping it will not be his swansong… but knowing it could be.
The 2009 F1 champion will be out-of-contract after the race and his McLaren team is keeping him guessing about its intentions but in the absence of a decision the 34-year-old Briton said he was determined to enjoy the moment with family and friends.
‘ENJOYING IT MORE’
The Briton, whose 15th and most recent race win was in 2012, told reporters at the Yas Marina circuit ahead of the race: "A lot goes through your head, as it has been doing for the last few months. When you’re out of the car you are unsure how to feel but when I drive the car nothing's different. I feel so at home.
"I probably enjoy my driving a little bit more because I'm away from all the questions and away from people in the pits lane smiling at me more than normal. Or a little unhappy face. It's a weird situation to be in.”
McLaren will welcome back double F1 champion Fernando Alonso for 2015 – his departure from Ferrari already announced - but has yet to decide whether to retain Button or Danish rookie Kevin Magnussen.
While Magnussen is a talent for the future Button, the sport's most experienced current driver but whose 15th and most recent race win was in 2012, told reporters at the Yas Marina circuit that he remains hungry for success and is one of the fittest drivers in the paddock.
He can be confident that Alonso wants him to stay but the decision will ultimately be taken by McLaren group head Ron Dennis, who is taking his time.
Button admitted that the uncertainty was playing on his mind, with his room at the track fitted out - by his physio and the BBC - with inspiring images from his past and of his much-missed father John.
"I hope this isn't my last GP, I really do. I feel I have a lot to give but there is something in the back of my mind thinking it could be so I’ll enjoy it as much as I can," he said. "I’m here to do a job and I'll do the best job I can."
Stay with Wheels24 for the 2014 Abu Dhabi GP finale this weekend.