Button: 'F1 is always changing - that's kept me excited'

© XPB 

Jenson Button believes that one of the main ingredients to an F1 driver's longevity is the ability to remain excited in the face of change.

The 36-year-old will be lining up on an F1 grid for the last time on Sunday in Abu Dhabi before heading into semi-retirement , but will remain however at McLaren's disposal for the next couple of years.

Asked in an interview with Formula1.com whether there was a secret to his longevity in the sport, Button said there wasn't, but insisted a faculty to always adapt and learn was paramount.

"My guess is that I have stayed in F1 so long - and wanted to stay - because it is always changing," Button said.

"It is about being able - and willing - to learn something new. That is a big difference to most other sport where it always stays the same. F1 is always changing.

"The performance of the package that you have is always changing - and so does your competition. That’s what kept me excited and every year coming back for more."

Button identified three essential traits in the DNA of a Formula 1 driver willing to survive at the top.

"Willing to learn - and that means also to have an environment that keeps you excited, as you get bored pretty fast.

"Of course you need luck - and being able to build on that: your race craft, your technical ability and being able to work with the partners and sponsors in the right manner.

" And, of course, you have to be quick. Without that nothing else helps in the long run."

The Brit denied however the obligation for a driver to latch on to a "political" approach in order to develop and prosper, but admitted that some of his colleagues actively use the media for their own benefit.

"I would say that F1 drivers are no political animals. Yes, we are not as open as the media wants us to be, but that has nothing to do with politics…

"For example, Lewis (Hamilton): he has a big following on social media - but of course he does: he is a three-time world champion. If he wasn’t a three-time world champion he wouldn’t have that kind of following.

"If you are in a position like Lewis and you post a picture then, of course, that will not go unnoticed. And in reality you have to say he is doing all that for the fans."

FEATURE: Hamilton v Rosberg: 2016 F1 drivers' title permutations

TECHNICAL: Under the skin of the McLaren-Honda MP4-31

INTERVIEW: Rob Smedley on Felipe Massa

2017 driver line-ups so far

FEATURE: When F1 team-mates fight for the title

Keep up to date with all the F1 news via Facebook and Twitter