By Alan Baldwin
LONDON (Reuters) – Jenson Button has not stood on the British Grand Prix podium in 16 attempts and, heading into what could be his last chance on Sunday, accepts it may never happen.
The McLaren Formula One driver’s best result on home soil is fourth — in 2004, 2010 and 2014.
“We won’t be fighting for a podium. There is another British guy (Mercedes’s triple champion Lewis Hamilton) that will be, but I won’t have that opportunity which is a shame,” the 36-year-old Button told reporters.
Whether he will get another chance, only time will tell.
Out of contract at the end of the season, but linked to Williams on the paddock rumor mill, the 2009 world champion said he would not be treating the weekend as a farewell.
“There is no point thinking it might be my last because then I have to go through those emotions again if it isn’t my last,” he said.
“In a way it would be a shame if I didn’t think of it as my last, and it was my last. But then again I don’t want to go into the weekend thinking ‘Oh, it is going to be my last’ – and get to the end of the year and think ‘I want to do another’.”
Button has 15 wins to his credit and has won in Monaco, Spa and Suzuka among the classic circuits. He also has the biggest prize of all, won with Brawn GP, to console him.
“Would I rather have a world championship than win the British Grand Prix? Yes, of course. So, I have achieved my main target in Formula One,” he said.
McLaren, a great team struggling to get back on top after their switch to Honda engines in 2015, have not won a race since 2012 and it has been more than two years since they celebrated a podium finish.
The former champions are improving, however, and Button started third and finished sixth in Austria last weekend.
“I don’t know if it is going to be my last British Grand Prix… all I know is that I will do my best with what I have available, and that is all I can do in front of the home crowd,” he said.
“They have been so supportive since the start of my career in Formula One up until now, through the good years and the bad years, they have always been fantastic.”
(Editing by Clare Fallon)