Alonso is hoping to continue his run of World Endurance Championship victories at the Six Hours of Silverstone race today – the Spaniard, along with Sebastian Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima, has picked up the win in both races so far this year including the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
But this is Alonso’s first race since announcing his retirement from F1, although former McLaren driver Button reckons that decision is reversible.
“I said to him he’s finally made the right decision. He’s woken up and smelled the coffee, as we say,” Button said.
“It’s always down to the individual when they choose to leave Formula 1.
“He’s done the same thing as what I chose to do, leave but leave it open for one year after to go back.
“I think that’s the right option to do.
“But if the McLaren’s quick and it’s winning races, he’ll be back in Formula 1.”
Button and Alonso were team-mates at McLaren for two seasons and beat him in 2015 but was outdriven in 2016 as the two-time world champion racked up 54 points despite the misfiring McLaren.
The Brit also subbed in for his former team-mate at the Monaco Grand Prix last year but will be racing against him at Silverstone today.
And he expects to be seeing plenty more of Alonso, even if he is not racing in F1.
“Discussing his retirement means nothing, it’s more his career, it’s been exceptional,” Button added.
“To win two world championships and be close on a couple of other times, there aren’t many people who get to do that.
“We were team-mates, so I know exactly the strengths and weaknesses for Fernando. It was really, really enjoyable racing with Fernando and against him as a team-mate.
“My toughest team-mate, really enjoyed it though. My late father always respected Fernando, and that’s always a good judge of character. He used to get on very well with my father as well, Fernando.
“It’s really nice to race with him. Tomorrow we start second and third on the grid, which is quite cool.
“But he’s still going to be racing until he’s 95 years old.
“He races more than me, he’s at the karting school in Spain all the time, driving, teaching. He’s obviously racing in WEC.
“I think next year he’ll still have a busy schedule. You can’t stop a racing driver racing. I thought I could stop, but I can’t.”
Source : EXPRESS