The 2009 world champion, currently with McLaren, believes he is driving as well as ever and has plenty of options for next season
While he will not be fighting for the win at Spa on Sunday, the urge to do battle, it seems, has diminished not a jot for Jenson Button. All the drivers love to come to this classic track, nestling in the Ardennes mountains, and face down what is a turbulent test and thrill-ride combined, but for Button enthusiasm for the challenge here perhaps also stirred his feelings for the sport as a whole as he reaffirmed both his commitment to Formula One and his own talent in the face of continuing questions about his future in the sport.
Strictly speaking, describing Button, who looks as youthful and fit as ever, as the grand old man of Formula One would be misleading. Kimi Raikkonen is the oldest driver on the grid, they are both 36, with the Finn three months older. But in terms of race starts the British driver is by some distance the most experienced in the field with 296 (third in the all-time list, behind Rubens Barrichello and Michael Schumacher) in the 16 years since he first took to the track with Williams in 2000 as Britains youngest Formula One driver, aged 20. But rather than feeling those years, he exudes the air of a maturing fine wine in the paddock at Spa-Francorchamps.
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