Jenson Button expects the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix to be his final Formula 1 race, despite having an option with McLaren to return to the cockpit.

The Briton announced earlier this year that he would not be racing in F1 next season, the 2009 world champion making way for Stoffel Vandoorne alongside Fernando Alonso in the team's line-up.

Button, who will stay as an ambassador and reserve driver for the team, has a contract to return to racing in 2018 should both he and McLaren wish.

But the 36-year-old admitted he is unlikely to race in Formula 1 again and said he is treating this weekend's grand prix as his final one.

"I got into this weekend thinking it is going to be my last race, that is the best way to be at this moment of time," said Button on Thursday. "Beyond this, I don't want to be racing in F1 – that is the whole idea.

"I think of this as my last race and hopefully everyone else does."

"I am just going into this race thinking it is my last, I don't want to go in thinking it isn't my last and it is my last. It is true I have a contract for 2018 but at this moment in time I am not going to be racing in 2018.

"The whole idea about having a contract is that in three months time, when I have eaten myself stupid and thinking of things to do in the future, maybe I realise I need F1 back in my life, but in this moment of time that isn't the case – so this is my last race.

"That is how I think about it at the moment, but who knows this could change in six/eight months or one year."

Button is set to leave F1 with one title, 15 wins and 50 podiums to his name.

The British driver, who has said he is considering competing in rallycross or Super GT next year, said he was proud of all he has achieved during his 17 seasons of F1 racing.

"It has been a long journey since eight years old until now," Button added. "I have been racing in motorsport, and everything before F1 was work to try to get to F1, and you get to F1 with many dreams and aspire to be something and hopefully leave sport with memories.

"That is something I do have from 17 years racing in F1, lots of memories, life-changing memories, and to walk away with the championship is a special feeling as well.

"I raced for two teams I dreamed of racing as a kid, Williams and McLaren, and when I won the championship it was with a privateer team which is very special.

"There are so many memories I can't put them all out on the table right, now. I will definitely step away from F1 happy with what I achieved and knowing my life does start now."

Additional reporting by Jonathan Noble

Gallery: Button admits Abu Dhabi GP likely to be his final F1 race

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