Jenson Button 'fell out of love' with motorsport in 2016

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Jenson Button believes he stayed in Formula One for one year too long, something he says drained his passion for racing in his final campaign with McLaren in 2016.

Having stepped away from F1 at the end of this year, the 2009 world champion has only had two race appearances this year -- one as Fernando Alonso's stand-in for the Monaco Grand Prix and the other more recently at the Super GT Suzuka 1000km race. The British driver has moved to America and admits the limited racing time has allowed him to reflect on his 17-year career in F1.

"It has been lovely and it has been necessary as well," Button said at a Friday media session at Suzuka, where he is as part of his role as McLaren brand ambassador. "Lots of things have happened in my career that I have not had time to think about at the moment in time.

"I've needed this year to sit down and have a little chat to myself about what has happened. It has been good.

"Obviously I did the race in Monaco, the race we can forget about, but qualifying I loved. Driving these monsters in Monaco...and the other race that really stands out is this one, driving a 2017 car must be pretty special. But do I miss F1? No.

"I miss racing. I've sort of fallen out of love a little bit with motorsport. I think that maybe I left it a year too long racing in F1."

Button's appearance at Monaco helped him realise he had made the right decision walking away.

"It was nice to have another taste of it and have a taste of these cars but it also made me realise that... I mean Monaco is a crazy weekend anyway, it's very different to anything else but I knew that when I finished that weekend that I was not going to be back."

Button's last few seasons were often filled with uncertainty about his future, only to be retained for 2015 and then 2016. His announcement of a sabbatical last year allowed the team to promote junior driver Stoffel Vandoorne to partner Fernando Alonso.