McLaren have confirmed that Jenson Button has been called up to replace Fernando Alonso for the 2017 Monaco Grand Prix.
Following the shock news that Fernando Alonso will miss the Monaco Grand Prix in order to compete at the Indy 500, the Woking team have called on the 2009 champion to make a one-off appearance.
Towards the end of last season, Jenson Button confirmed that he would not be racing in Formula One for 2017, with Stoffel Vandoorne being promoted to the second seat.
Button had treated the 2016 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as his official retirement, but will now return to the Formula One paddock for the event he won in 2009.
“I’m thrilled to be making a one-off return to Formula 1 racing, and I couldn’t think of a better place to make that return than my adopted home Grand Prix: Monaco,” said Button.
“I’ve won the race before, in 2009, and it’s one of my all-time favourite racetracks. It’s a tricky street circuit on which a good driver can really make a difference – and, although the McLaren-Honda MCL32 hasn’t begun the season well, I think it may be more suited to Monaco than to the faster circuits that Fernando [Alonso] and Stoffel [Vandoorne] have raced it on so far this season.
“OK, I realise we won’t have a realistic chance of repeating my 2009 victory, but I think we’ll have a opportunity to score world championship points, which will be very valuable to the team in terms of constructors’ rankings.
Button believes that he would have no issues becoming ‘race ready’ in time for the race on 28th May.
“But most of all I’m looking forward to pitting myself against the unique racing challenge that is the Monaco Grand Prix. I’ll drive the MCL32 around Monaco in the McLaren sim beforehand, and I reckon I’ll be ready for the race after doing that.
“I’m supremely fit, having done a lot of triathlon training recently, so I have no worries on that score. And it’ll be nice to say ‘hi’ to all my old Formula 1 mates too, and hopefully to give the fans something to cheer about.”