Jenson Button to retire from F1 after Sunday’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Former world champion Jenson Button says he will retire from Formula 1 after Sunday’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

The McLaren driver was set to have a sabbatical in 2017, with the team holding an option on him for the 2018 campaign.

But speaking on Thursday, the 36-year-old Briton said: “I go into this weekend thinking it’s going to be my last race. I think that’s the best way.

Button, world champion in 2009, made his debut at the age of 20 in 2000.

Sunday’s race will be his 305th grand prix start, with only Rubens Barrichello (322) and Michael Schumacher (306) having driven in more.

He has won 15 F1 races, driving for Williams, Benetton, Renault, BAR, Honda, Brawn and McLaren.

Under his contract for 2017, Button is due to be McLaren’s reserve driver and would race if either Alonso or Vandoorne are unable to for any reason.

He will do promotional work for McLaren and some work in the simulator and attend a minimum of four grands prix.