Jenson Button retirement: Announcement on 2009 world champion's future expected during Japanese Grand Prix

The 35-year-old is experiencing a tough season

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The Independent Online

Jenson Button could be set to end his Formula One career at the end of the season with an announcement on his future expected as early as this week's Japanese Grand Prix.

The 2009 world champion, 35, is in the midst of his worst-ever season in the sport with McLaren's Honda partnership having long since descended into a farce.

Button has finished in the points in just two of the 13 races this season and retired from Sunday's Singapore Grand Prix with a gearbox problem.

Button and his beleaguered McLaren team - who endured their fourth double retirement of the season in Singapore after Fernando Alonso also suffered a gearbox failure - will now head to Honda's home race in Japan where a decision on their line-up for 2016 could be revealed.

McLaren have an option on Button for next season, but that clause expires at the end of September. It is reported that talks with the team's boss Ron Dennis over extending his grand prix career into a 17th campaign have stalled.

Reserve driver Kevin Magnussen, who moved sideways after one season following the arrival of Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne, the runaway GP2 championship leader, are both contenders for Button's seat. They would both be vastly cheaper options than the Briton, too.

Button, whose wife Jessica is Japanese, regards Sunday's race in Suzuka as a home event.

He has been entered for 281 races in his career - a record for a British driver and a total which makes him far and away the most experienced driver involved in Formula One this season. He has won 15 races since making his F1 debut in 2000.

PA

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