IN AN exclusive interview with driving.co.uk, Jenson Button has scotched rumours that he is preparing to swap the pit lane for the green room as a Top Gear co-host.
The McLaren Formula One driver had been hotly tipped to join Chris Evans as part of a relaunched BBC TV show — a prospect seemingly confirmed when he was recently photographed with the presenter at the wheel of a lime-green McLaren 675LT on Top Gear’s test track in Dunsfold, Surrey.
The driver had previously hinted that he might be retiring from F1 after a torrid championship for McLaren in which he has failed to reach the podium all season.
However, Button has since signed up to race with McLaren next season and, in his interview, the 35-year-old says his commitment to racing means he wouldn’t have time to front the BBC show: “It [racing] takes up my whole year, basically, because you’ve got to 100% focus on getting the best out of yourself, the best out of your team, and there isn’t really a lot of time for anything else.”
It does look likely that he will appear in the revamped Top Gear, due to air next year, and he hints that other F1 drivers may also be involved: “I’m still racing in F1 and I don’t know about anything else. That’s it. My appearance at Dunsfold was just a bit of fun. They invited me down to drive the McLaren 675LT. Hopefully some of the other drivers on the F1 grid will get involved with the new series as well.”
Chris Evans has since revealed the date of Top Gear’s return: May 8, 2016. Read the full story here.