MARCH 16, 2016
Webber expects Button retirement talk in 2016
Before even a single lap in the 21-race grand prix calendar has been logged, Jenson Button's future in formula one is already being discussed.
In part, that is because McLaren supremo Ron Dennis kicked off the week of the 2016 season opener by admitting openly that Stoffel Vandoorne could make his debut for the Honda-powered team next year.
On F1's official website, Dennis said he will therefore get together for contract talks with Button, the most experienced driver on the grid, "during the course of the year".
Not only that, 36-year-old Button openly admitted late last year that he almost called time on his 16-season F1 career.
"There was a turn mentally with his decision to retire," Mark Webber, who retired at the end of 2013 and switched to Le Mans, told the Sun newspaper.
"The next phase is not sorted for him yet. He's certainly in the last part of his career and I hope the car's tidy and he has a half-decent weapon to fight with, but then there'll be a call around Monza for that letting go," the Australian added.
"He's a real pro and had a phenomenal career but there's nothing worse as an athlete than being asked when you're going to retire," said Webber.
And Martin Brundle, another former F1 driver, said it is also awkward to observe Button's teammate Fernando Alonso struggle at McLaren-Honda at present.
"I suppose it is like watching two boxers who should have retired but Jenson seems to handle it better than Fernando," he said.