Mercedes hints at DTM outing for Jenson Button

Jenson Button, McLaren
© XPB 

Mercedes DTM boss Ulrich Fritz has hinted at a possible wild card entry for former F1 champion Jenson Button next month.

"Jenson is a good idea," Fritz told TouringCarTimes this weekend in Zandvoort. "After all, he was a Formula 1 champion with a Mercedes engine!"

Button won his title with Brawn GP which was subsequently bought by Mercedes. He is officially retired from F1 now after one last hurrah with McLaren in the 2017 Monaco Grand Prix.

He competed in Le Mans last month and was part of the Sky Sports F1 presentation team for last week's British Grand Prix. He is also entering this year's Japanese Super Formula.

That still leaves him with some spare time on his calendar in August, and Mercedes is keen on a British driver for the Brands Hatch round of the 2018 DTM season.

“Lewis Hamilton would definitely not be an option," Fritz admitted. "He’s focussed on his current programme in F1.

"He would also be on holiday at the time of the Brands Hatch event," he added, referring to Formula 1's summer break between the Hungarian and Belgian Grands Prix.

Mattias Ekström has already been a special guest of Audi at the start of the season at Hockenheim. And BMW brand ambassador Alex Zanardi will race for that team at Misano.

Other candidates for a Mercedes wild card include five-time WRC champion Sebastien Ogier, who is believed to be interested in entering the penultimate round at the Red Bull Ring in September.

“It’s too early to confirm when and who will be our wild card entry this season," Fritz insisted.

"There are various possibilities and we will make an announcement when we are ready.

"We won’t comment on the circulating rumours [but] we definitely are not considering Fernando Alonso!" he quipped..

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