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Why Button's motorsport journey is far from over
He's now a team co-owner, but as 2009 world champion Jenson Button tells Motorsport.com in an exclusive interview, his passion for driving is undiminished, with ambitions to return to the Le Mans 24 Hours - and one day drive for his own team - a key ambition.
Four years have passed since the 2016 Brazilian Grand Prix, a race that is widely remembered for Max Verstappen's charge to the podium in horrendous conditions and Felipe Nasr battling into the points to save his Sauber team, while effectively sinking the Manor squad.
Jenson Button's drive to finish 16th and last at the track where he had clinched the 2009 world championship, as McLaren teammate Fernando Alonso salvaged a point for 10th, barely registered as a footnote. But the penultimate race of his swansong F1 season (he would return for a final time at Monaco in 2017, subbing for Alonso when the Spaniard was given permission to skip F1's grandee race for the Indianapolis 500) served as proof to Button that he'd made the right decision in stepping away after 17 years.
An aggressive first corner move from Max Verstappen appeared to have set the Red Bull driver on course for victory in the Spanish Grand Prix. But canny strategy from Mercedes - combined with the absence of Red Bull's number two from the lead group - allowed Lewis Hamilton to pull off a demoralising reversal
Lewis Hamilton led the way in Friday practice for the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix, but there was one major encouraging sign for Red Bull. However, making good on that gain will require Max Verstappen to avoid repeating a mistake that left him well down the FP2 order...
Three points finishes from as many starts represents a decent opening innings on paper, but Daniel Ricciardo has endured a tough start to his McLaren career - only magnified his teammate's excellent form. Yet both he and the team have good reason to expect a turnaround soon.
OPINION: Going up against the dominant force of Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton was always going to demand the best from Red Bull and Max Verstappen. But after making a couple more errors during the Portuguese Grand Prix, the Dutch driver showed there's a small gap he still needs to close in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight.
Red Bull's Portuguese Grand Prix fortunes were decidedly second best to Mercedes', but the result skews the potential that the team had at Portimao. With a new set of updates, the team looks good going forward into the rest of 2021's spicy F1 competition
Just as he did in 2020, Lewis Hamilton had to come from behind to win the 2021 Portuguese Grand Prix. Only this time there were two rivals he had to pass, among the several challenges he had to overcome, on his way to securing a 97th grand prix victory
Lewis Hamilton topped the crucial FP2 session on Friday as F1 returned to Portugal, but his Mercedes team cannot be sure it has the edge on its Red Bull rivals. As cool temperatures and wind combine with the still-slippery surface to present drivers with quandaries over set-up and tyre warmup, there's still everything to play for come qualifying.
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