Button expects emotional race

  • Last Updated: July 1 2014, 13:40 BST

Jenson Button is expecting a highly-emotional return to Silverstone this weekend ahead of the British Grand Prix.

Jenson Button: Preparing for the British Grand Prix
Jenson Button: Preparing for the British Grand Prix

For one, there is a possibility it may be Button's last Formula One race at the venerable venue, although he is not anticipating that to be the case.

Although his contract with McLaren is up at the end of the year, the 34-year-old would like to believe he will be offered a new deal.

One reason is McLaren have again handed Button a car that is off the pace of their main rivals.

McLaren boss Ron Dennis, however, has stirred the pot by insisting Button should be 'trying harder' following the impressive arrival of rookie team-mate Kevin Magnussen who will have served as "a wake-up call".

For Button, though, the primary reason behind his potentially tough weekend is it will be his first at Silverstone without father John, who passed away in January this year.

To that end, Sunday has been designated as 'Pink for Papa' day, with pink t-shirts on sale in aid of the Henry Surtees Foundation.

The charity was set up by John Surtees, a world champion on two and four wheels, in memory of son Henry that assists and supports people with injuries caused by accidents.

The pink t-shirt is a reminder of the 'lucky' pink shirts worn every grand prix Sunday by John Button, who only missed one of his son's grands prix in 14 seasons prior to his death.

"This year will be extra special for me, and probably a little more emotional than normal - it's normally very emotional anyway because of the support, but it will be more so this year," said Button.

"We're trying to get as many people wearing pink as we can, which is going very well, and I will be wearing a pink helmet, so there will be a lot of pink at Silverstone in support of my old boy.

"I'm really excited about it, but it is going to be very emotional."

Unfortunately for Button, approaching his 15th British Grand Prix, the chances of him ending his wretched podium hoodoo are slim.

Button is haunted by the fact that not once in 14 previous attempts in his home race as he managed to finish in the top three and soak up the acclaim of an often fervent support.

"We won't get on the podium at Silverstone. No chance!" said a forlorn Button.

"As it's my home race I'll get an extra lift, but it won't make us go any quicker - I wish it would."

Despite that the event will still be one to savour for Button, thanks to the home support, with over 300,000 expected at the circuit over the course of the three days.

"For every driver the British GP is a good grand prix," added Button.

"It's one of the old-school tracks, and one of the races where the grandstands are packed, with the British fans very good as they support everyone.

"I think they support their home-grown a little bit more, but they still support everyone, which is really good to see.

"So I think every driver likes and enjoys the British Grand Prix, in terms of a sporting event.

"But for a British driver, yeah, it's very special, as it is for any driver racing in their home country.

"A lot of people that work in Formula One are British, and there are a lot of British fans who understand the sport and don't just see cars whizzing around.

"So it's great going home to race and seeing the support from the British public who, for me, really understand the sport a lot."