Jenson Button downplays GRC speculation after OMSE test


Jenson Button - Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Jenson Button has played down reports that he is set to join the Red Bull Global Rallycross fold this year, despite testing with the Olsbergs Honda squad at Sebring last week.

The 2009 Formula One world champion has long expressed his desire to move into rallycross competition following his retirement from F1. His father, John Button, was a prominent rallycross competitor in the 1970s and he has been spotted in the Red Bull GRC paddock in the past.

However, speaking at the Race of Champions in Miami last weekend, Button played down the importance of his test with the four-time Supercars title winners.

Button driving Olsbergs’ Honda Civic last week – Credit: Instagram (@jensonbutton_22)

“Everyone thinks I was testing to further my career in rallycross, but basically I was just practicing for this weekend,” he told Motorsport.com. “I want to have a bit more of a relaxed year, on my terms. I’d love to race in something – there’s a good chance I’ll do Super GT, one race in Japan at Suzuka [the 1000kms]. And I’d like to do some rallycross.”

“But there is so much I’ve got to learn. The stuff that’s on the concrete, I can deal with, but as soon as you get onto that dirty stuff – I have no idea!”

“It was a great experience, and hopefully in the future, yeah, I’d love to race. But there’s so much to learn,” he added, revealing that he sought the advice from double World Rallycross champion Petter Solberg ahead of his outing in the OMSE Honda Civic.

When contacted by The Checkered Flag, Olsbergs were unwilling to discuss Button’s outing in their car, instead insisting that the test was merely a birthday present, a claim Button backed up.

“I must say, to be fair, it was the best birthday present you could ever have – apart from Race Of Champions,” said the Brit who celebrated his 37th birthday last week.

Button behind the wheel of a Red Bull GRC Lites car at the Race of Champions –  (Credit: Craig Robertson/RacePhotography.net)