Jenson Button

Button almost quit F1 for 2016 Olympic triathlon bid

Jenson Button

Veteran Formula 1 driver Jenson Button has admitted he thought about quitting the sport to launch a quest for the Olympics.

As his F1 seat hung in the balance at McLaren last year, the Briton said at the time he took the opportunity to assess if he even wanted to extend his 15-year run into the 2016 season.

Among his rumoured options was to quit the sport altogether in order to turn his hobby of amateur triathlon into a full-time professional vocation.

“I did think about Rio and then decided ‘no’,” the 35-year-old said, referring to the 2016 summer Olympics in Brazil.

“First of all I am way too old,” he said, comparing himself with Britain’s top triathletes Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee, who are in their mid-20s.

“So it’s definitely not for me. I’m a pretty good amateur athlete but anyone at the top of their game as a professional is at a completely different level to that,” Button added.

Already in Melbourne for the 2015 season opener, the 2009 world champion is currently training for April’s London marathon.