According to the former Red Bull Racing driver, the new wave of youngsters knocking at F1's door could make Button's return in 2010 highly improbable. And even if Honda does actually manage to sell their team ahead of the season opener, Button would have to face the reality that he won't get to fight for points very often.
“The way the sport is now, there are so many young drivers coming through and there are so many opportunities for teams to pick up these guys,” Coulthard was quoted as saying by Reuters news agency.
“Whereas going into previous years with Honda he was all full of hope and expectation that this could be the year that Honda will step up, he has to take a different view now. He has to now consider himself as driving for a mid-grid, privateer team.”
“Whether they can deliver to his expectations or not is more difficult to judge going into this season and presumably longer term he has to be looking to try to make a step up to a manufacturer team,” added the Scotsman.
Honda is yet to unveil a buyer for their F1 operations. However, should they succeed in finding one in the near future, the deal will have to be signed at least a month before the season opener in Australia. That would give the Brackley-based team enough time to find an engine supplier and fit the new power plant into their car, while also testing it for at least a few days before the start of the season.