Jenson Button has began testing with Olsbergs MSE ahead of an expected move to Red Bull Global Rallycross in 2017.
The 2009 Formula One world champion has made no secret of his desire to move into rallycross following his retirement from F1, and has previously hinted at a move to Red Bull GRC.
Button’s first outing behind the wheel of Olsbergs’ Honda Civic came during a test at Sebring International Raceway in Florida this week. Olsbergs was seen as Button’s most likely destination, given their partnership with McLaren engine supplier Honda, and with his previous admission that a programme based in America would be his preferred option.
“I might do some rallycross in America, and do some testing in something else in rallycross,” he told Motorsport.com last year. “There’s lots that I can do, and I’ve just got to choose how much I really want to do next year, or have more of a rest.”
Button’s Red Bull GRC schedule is set to be a part-time one alongside regulars Joni Wiman and Sebastian Eriksson, with outings in landmark events such as those in Los Angeles and Seattle thought to be possibilities.
Of course, Button would not be the first Formula One driver to make the move to Red Bull GRC. Former Toro Rosso driver Scott Speed is an 11-time race winner in the series and a double champion, while ex-Renault man Nelson Piquet Jr. won the 2015 Washington DC round.