McLaren has announced Jenson Button has been withdrawn from driving Emerson Fittipaldi’s 1974 Formula 1 World Championship-winning McLaren M23 at the Monterey Motorsport Reunion and replaced by Mika Hakkinen.
The event, held at Laguna Seca, had been set to be Button’s next official McLaren engagement since appearing at the F1 London Live in Trafalgar Square but the Woking-based team confirmed the 2009 F1 world champion will now be replaced by 1998 and 1999 F1 world champion Hakkinen on driving duty of the M23.
Since stepping away from full-time F1 racing at the end of 2016, Button was on duty as stand-in for Fernando Alonso for the Monaco Grand Prix as his former team-mate took on the Indianapolis 500 in May. As part of his current contract with McLaren Button is in line to make a number of special ambassador appearances for the team, which included the demonstration run in Trafalgar Square last month, but will now miss the Monterey event.
The American event is being held on the 17-20 August which is thought to have clashed with Button’s preparations for his debut in Super GT at the Suzuka 1000km race on the 27th August.
In March, Hakkinen returned to the McLaren fold in an ambassador role and the Monterey Motorsport Reunion is thought to be is maiden appearance in his new role away from F1 races.