May 7 (GMM) 2009 world champion Jenson Button admits he came “very close” to signing a contract with Ferrari.
After winning the championship with Brawn, the now retired British driver switched to McLaren – but during that period, he now admits to having Ferrari talks.
“I always wanted to race for Ferrari,” he told La Gazzetta dello Sport. “I really would have liked it. And I came very close.
“When Stefano Domenicali was there, we spoke many times. We had already talked about many points of the contract, but then he left. And the agreement fell apart.
“I never heard anything again. It’s a real shame. It would have been exciting.”
Now, however, the 43-year-old is a paddock regular with British television, an advisor for Williams, and still racing with part-time appearances in Nascar and Le Mans.
Button admits he is much more relaxed these days.
“I love Formula 1. I was here for 17 years, it was my job, my life,” he said. “But it makes you selfish.
“I felt so much pressure on me that at one point I had the need to continue racing but in a more relaxed way. Just having fun.
“I think the drivers generally help on this aspect. Many sportsmen have a mental coach but not really in F1. I didn’t have one, and at a certain point it was all too much.
“I miss driving an F1 car, because it’s the most beautiful thing in the world. There’s no comparison with any other car.
“But I have to admit that I wouldn’t like to race with today’s cars as much as I did with what we had in my time.”