Saturday 20 January 2018

Jenson Button's back in the driving seat and it just feels right

The British driver semi-retired at the end of the 2016 season, but he’s back for one race only.

By Max McLean

Jenson Button wasn’t gone for long, was he? Just five races into the 2017 season, the semi-retired former world champion has returned to the track at Monaco to fill in for Fernando Alonso.

Despite his sort-of retirement, Button has remained a reserve driver for McLaren this season, and with Alonso taking the race off to compete in the Indianapolis 500, the Brit is back in the cockpit.

And while it’s only been six months since we saw him last, it feels like seeing an old friend again.

McLaren have failed to score any points so far this season, but having lived in Monaco for 17 years, we imagine Button will feel at home.

The cars have changed too since Button retired, becoming faster, more demanding, and 20 centimetres wider – “How do I turn off the DRS beeps?” was one of the Briton’s questions during practice.

Even so, Button appears to be doing OK so far.

Jenson’s return is clearly popular with the fans.

With McLaren struggling this year, a win is almost certainly out of the question…

…but what a moment it would be if he did find himself on the podium.

Press Association

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