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Button heading into Abu Dhabi 'thinking it will be my last race'

24 Nov 2016

McLaren's Jenson Button says he will be treating this weekend's season finale in Abu Dhabi as his final Formula One Grand Prix.

The Briton announced he would not be racing in 2017 earlier this year, making way for Stoffel Vandoorne to partner Fernando Alonso - but he was insistent that he was not retiring and had an option to return in 2018, should both he and McLaren wish to do so.

Speaking on Thursday at the Yas Marina Circuit however, Button said he isn't anticipating trying to take up that option, and that his mindset is therefore that this weekend will be his F1 farewell.

"I go into this weekend thinking it will be my last race," Button said. "I think that's the best way to be.

"At this moment in time I don't want to be racing in F1 past this race, and that was the whole idea. So I think of this as my last race, and hopefully everyone else does as well.

"I don't want to go in thinking it isn't my last and it is my last. It is true I have a contract for 2018 but at this moment in time I am not going to be racing in 2018.

"The whole idea about having a contract is that in three months’ time, when I have eaten myself stupid and thinking of things to do in the future, maybe I realise I need F1 back in my life, but in this moment of time that isn't the case – so this is my last race."

Button said he can look back with intense pride on a career that has included 15 wins, 50 podiums and one world championship crown - and that will reach 305 Grand Prix starts in Abu Dhabi, just one behind Michael Schumacher and a tie of second all-time.

"I raced with two of the teams I dreamt of racing [with] as a kid, Williams and McLaren," he added.

"And when I did win the world championship it was with a privateer team [Brawn], which I think is also pretty special. Obviously a very memorable year in my life, and in the future something I will hopefully be telling my grandkids all about - that from nothing we ended up winning the world championship."