Jenson Button
Formula One driver
Jenson Button
Jenson Alexander Lyons Button MBE is a British Formula One driver currently signed to McLaren. He is the 2009 World Drivers' Champion for Brawn GP. Button began karting at the age of eight and achieved early success, before progressing to car racing in the British Formula Ford Championship and the British Formula Three Championship. He first drove in Formula One with the Williams team for the 2000 season.
Biography
Jenson Button's personal information overview.
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News
News abour Jenson Button from around the web
Button and Palmer in all-British bust-up
Yahoo News - 4 months
Jenson Button said he hoped fellow Briton Jolyon Palmer would be penalised after the pair clashed during Saturday's qualifying for the United States Grand Prix in Austin. Button, the 2009 world champion and McLaren driver, said he was blocked by the Renault rookie at the vital, final corner during their laps in Q1. The incident cost Button time and he failed to progress from Q1, starting Sunday’s race from 19th on the grid.
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Button and Alonso take poor show in their stride
Yahoo News - 4 months
By Abhishek Takle SUZUKA, Japan, (Reuters) - - McLaren's Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button have taken a disappointing showing in qualifying for the Japanese Formula One Grand Prix in their stride and are hoping to climb up the field in Sunday's race. Neither driver made it through to the final top-10 shootout on engine supplier Honda's home turf. Button did not even make it past the opening phase of qualifying, setting the 17th fastest time, while Alonso reached the middle section of the three-part session but could only manage to go 15th quickest.
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Motor racing: Honda hoping for happier homecoming
Yahoo News - 5 months
By Abhishek Takle SUZUKA, Japan (Reuters) - Honda, engine suppliers to former world champions McLaren, are expecting a happier homecoming than last year in Sunday's Japanese Formula One Grand Prix. Last year's race at the Honda-owned Suzuka circuit was arguably the low point of a bruising season for the Japanese manufacturer, marred by unreliability and a lack of performance from their engines. With Honda management watching, Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button were easy pickings for rivals -- prompting the Spaniard to criticize the engine in a radio transmission broadcast live across the world.
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Button could race in Japan next year
Yahoo News - 5 months
By Christophe Van Der Perre SINGAPORE (Reuters) - McLaren's Jenson Button could race in Rallycross or in Japan's Super GT series when he takes a break from Formula One next year. The 2009 world champion, who has spent almost two decades in grand prix racing, is handing over his race seat to Belgian Stoffel Vandoorne next season. McLaren have retained the 36-year-old Briton under contract until the end of 2018, however, and could draft him in if a reserve is needed before then.
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Motor racing-Formula One Belgian Grand Prix starting grid
Yahoo News - 6 months
Aug 28 (Gracenote) - Starting grid from the Formula One Belgian Grand Prix at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps on Sunday 1. Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes 2. Max Verstappen (Netherlands) Red Bull - TAG Heuer 3. Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Ferrari 4. Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Ferrari 5. Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) Red Bull - TAG Heuer 6. Sergio Perez (Mexico) Force India - Mercedes 7. Nico Huelkenberg (Germany) Force India - Mercedes 8. Valtteri Bottas (Finland) Williams-Mercedes 9. Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren 10. Felipe Massa (Brazil) Williams-Mercedes 11. ...
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Motor racing-Formula One Belgian Grand Prix 2nd free practice session
Yahoo News - 6 months
Aug 26 (Gracenote) - 2nd Free Practice Session from the Formula One Belgian Grand Prix at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps on Friday 1. Max Verstappen (Netherlands) Red Bull - TAG Heuer 1:48.085 2. Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) Red Bull - TAG Heuer 1:48.341 3. Nico Huelkenberg (Germany) Force India - Mercedes 1:48.657 4. Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Ferrari 1:49.023 5. Sergio Perez (Mexico) Force India - Mercedes 1:49.100 6. Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes 1:49.161 7. Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Ferrari 1:49.244 8. Romain Grosjean (France) Haas - Ferrari 1:49.419 9. Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren 1:49. ...
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Formula One: Button cleared to race in Germany after eye problem
Yahoo News - 7 months
Hockenheim (Germany) (AFP) - Jenson Button was given the all-clear on Friday to continue racing at the German Grand Prix after a fragment of carbon brake was washed out of his eye.
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Motor racing-Formula One Hungarian Grand Prix 2nd free practice session
Yahoo News - 7 months
July 22 (Gracenote) - 2nd Free Practice Session from the Formula One Hungarian Grand Prix at Hungaroring on Friday 1. Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes 1:20.435 2. Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) Red Bull - TAG Heuer 1:21.030 3. Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Ferrari 1:21.348 4. Max Verstappen (Netherlands) Red Bull - TAG Heuer 1:21.770 5. Lewis Hamilton (Britain) Mercedes 1:21.960 6. Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Ferrari 1:22.058 7. Fernando Alonso (Spain) McLaren 1:22.328 8. Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren 1:22.387 9. Nico Huelkenberg (Germany) Force India - Mercedes 1:22.449 10. ...
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Button accepts British GP podium will stay a step too far
Reuters.com - 8 months
LONDON (Reuters) - Jenson Button has not stood on the British Grand Prix podium in 16 attempts and, heading into what could be his last chance on Sunday, accepts it may never happen.
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Hamilton on top in first practice
Yahoo News - 8 months
Lewis Hamilton topped the times ahead of Mercedes team-mate and championship leader Nico Rosberg in both of Fridayâ s incident-packed practice sessions for this weekendâ s European Grand Prix in Baku. The track, described as dangerous in places by many drivers, including 2009 champion Jenson Button of McLaren and Rosberg, claimed many victims who struggled with the dusty surface and tight turns lacking broad run-off spaces. Australian Daniel Ricciardo provided the most spectacular incident of the day when he crashed at Turn 15 in the opening session, which was red-flagged to clear the track.
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F1 drivers voice concerns about Baku pit lane entry
Yahoo News - 8 months
By Alan Baldwin BAKU (Reuters) - Formula One championship leader Nico Rosberg and McLaren's Jenson Button expressed concern on Thursday about the pit lane entry and lack of run-off areas at the new Baku street circuit. The pit lane entry involves a tight chicane separate from the main straight, but at unrestricted speed, with another long stretch before the driver finally has to engage the car's speed limiter.
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Monaco GP: Hamilton faster than Rosberg in accident-ridden FP1
Guardian (UK) - 9 months
• Jolyon Palmer and Felipe Massa in separate crashes • Jenson Button damages wing on loose drain cover On the day it was revealed that the family of Jules Bianchi are launching legal action over the fatal accident that killed their son, Formula One had one of its most eventful practice sessions in Monaco. There were two crashes. Renault’s Jolyon Palmer smashed into a barrier after failing to successfully negotiate Tabac corner and Felipe Massa crashed his Williams at Sainte Dévote, triggering the introduction of a virtual safety car Continue reading...
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Guardian (UK) article
Motor racing-Formula One GP Russia 2nd free practice session
Yahoo News - 10 months
April 29 (Infostrada Sports) - 2nd Free Practice Session from the Formula One GP Russia at Sochi Autodrom on Friday 1. Lewis Hamilton (Britain) Mercedes 1:37.583 2. Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Ferrari 1:38.235 3. Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes 1:38.450 4. Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Ferrari 1:38.793 5. Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) Red Bull - TAG Heuer 1:39.084 6. Valtteri Bottas (Finland) Williams-Mercedes 1:39.185 7. Daniil Kvyat (Russia) Red Bull - TAG Heuer 1:39.193 8. Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren 1:39.196 9. Felipe Massa (Brazil) Williams-Mercedes 1:39.289 10. ...
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Motor racing-China pitlane incident was unacceptable: FIA
Yahoo News - 10 months
By Abhishek Takle SHANGHAI (Reuters) - A track vehicle that parked close to the pitlane entrance during Chinese Grand Prix qualifying posed a low but still unacceptable risk, Formula One race director Charlie Whiting has said. McLaren driver Jenson Button had told reporters the positioning of the vehicle had been the "most dangerous part" of Saturday's session because of the risk of a car going off and hitting it. Two other incidents, a crash involving Manor's Pascal Wehrlein and Nico Hulkenberg losing a wheel off his Force India, brought red flags out.
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Button voices concern about pit incident
Yahoo News - 10 months
By Abhishek Takle SHANGHAI (Reuters) - McLaren's Jenson Button has questioned why Chinese Grand Prix qualifying was not halted when a circuit car was parked in what he considered to be a dangerous position near the pitlane entrance. It came shortly after the session had resumed following a halt prompted by a crash for Manor's German rookie Pascal Wehrlein. The parked vehicle was soon moved but Button contrasted that incident with the red flag waved to halt the session for the second time when Nico Hulkenberg parked his Force India at the side of the track after its front-left wheel came off.
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Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Jenson Button
    THIRTIES
  • 2016
    Age 36
    On 3 September 2016 Button announced he would be stepping down from the McLaren race seat for the 2017 Formula One season.
    More Details Hide Details He has signed a two-year deal to be an ambassador with the team holding an option for him to return as a race driver in 2018. Button is known for having a very smooth driving style; journalist Mark Hughes wrote in 2009, "Button has a fantastic feel for how much momentum can be taken into a corner and this allows him to be minimal in his inputs—his steering and throttle movements in particular tend to be graceful and beautifully co-ordinated." This allows him to perform well in tricky conditions, such as his maiden win in the 2006 Hungarian Grand Prix. Many believe using his smooth style he can conserve his tyres better during race conditions than other drivers. However, his smooth style can also mean he struggles to generate the necessary tyre temperature on cool days or undemanding tracks. Coupled with his driving style, Button has demonstrated intelligent race decisions such as his pit stop strategy during the 2010 Australian Grand Prix. Jackie Stewart drew similarities with the driving style and racecraft of Alain Prost. In an interview in 2003, Button said about Prost: "His way of driving was so smooth. He is the person I have modelled myself on". However, he contradicted himself in 2009, when he said, "I've never tried to model myself on anyone. I don't think many people do when they are pursuing their career." Parallels have also been made with the McLaren partnership and rivalry to World Champion Lewis Hamilton to the Prost-Senna rivalry of the 1980s, though the latter clearly had a more tempestuous relationship.
    The BBC reported that he had signed a 2-year contract which included an option for 2016.
    More Details Hide Details The new McLaren-Honda package started out to be unreliable and problematic after a January 29 launch. In the three pre-season tests Button, teammate Alonso and reserve driver Kevin Magnussen only had a single day over one hundred laps, which was completed by Button. Arriving in Australia Button qualified 17th and finished 11th and last in the detuned McLaren to ensure the team and new power unit supplier, Honda Racing F1 would compile decent mileage because of energy recovery issues. This continued into Malaysia where Button had to retire from the race. In China, Button collided with Lotus racer Pastor Maldonado in the latter stages of the Grand Prix. Button received a five-second time penalty dropping him one spot to 14th and two penalty points to his super licence which was previously clean for which the points will last twelve months. Button described the crash as 'just a misjudgement'. Button had a horrible weekend in Sakhir where he had to stop on track three times, once in FP1, another time in FP2 and again in Q1 where he was unable to set a time and had to line up 20th and last on the grid. After an energy recovery issue Button could not even start the race. In Monaco, he scored his first points of the season, finishing in 8th place. At his home Grand Prix in Great Britain, Button retired on the first lap after contact with his team mate Alonso.
    Button announced in September 2016 that he would be giving up his 2017 seat at the end of the 2016 Formula One season but announced that he would still be at McLaren as a reserve driver and ambassador of McLaren until the 2018 Formula One season.
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  • 2015
    Age 35
    In December 2015, Button announced they had split up after one year of marriage.
    More Details Hide Details Button has at least three tattoos: a black coat button on his right forearm; a large tribal design encompassing his left shoulder and upper chest; and Japanese kanji-characters on his ankle which says this was done before he won the world title, and is the name of Button's triathlon team. Since mid-2010, the same legend has appeared on Button's race helmet. Button is also a brand ambassador for Head & Shoulders, and has appeared in advertising campaigns for the company. Button is also involved in charitable work through the creation of The Jenson Button Trust. Established in March 2010, the Trust provides donations to a number of charitable causes. Each year the Trust will select and nominate charitable beneficiaries to which the funds will be distributed. On 5 September 2011, Button opened a restaurant on Beulah Street in Harrogate called Victus, but it closed after less than a year in trading. Button's manager Richard Goddard said "unfortunately the business was launched in an economy which then continued to slide and just hasn’t stopped, with people simply not having the disposable income needed to spend in restaurants."
    On 18 October 2015, Button won a triathlon competition at Hermosa Beach, California.
    More Details Hide Details key) (Races in bold indicate pole position, races in italics indicate fastest lap) key) (Races in bold indicate pole position; races in italics indicate fastest lap) Half points awarded as less than 75% of race distance was completed. Driver did not finish the Grand Prix, but was classified as they completed over 90% of the race distance.
    On 3 August 2015, Button and his wife Jessica were burgled at a rented Saint-Tropez home while staying with friends when robbers looted the house and stole belongings worth £300,000, including his wife's £250,000 engagement ring.
    More Details Hide Details Reports suggested that the couple might have been gassed through the air conditioning system prior to the burglars' entry into the building.
    After the 2015 Japanese Grand Prix, McLaren principal Ron Dennis confirmed that Button will be driving for the team in.
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  • 2014
    Age 34
    On 11 December 2014 McLaren announced that Button would be staying with them for the 2015 season, partnering former World Champion Fernando Alonso.
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    On 14 February 2014 Button proposed to Michibata, and the two married in Hawaii in December 2014.
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    On 12 January 2014, Button's father John died at his home on the French Riviera, aged 70.
    More Details Hide Details John, whom Jenson called "Papa Smurf", is thought to have died from a heart attack. John was a constant member of Jenson's small entourage.
    Ultimately, Button finished the 2014 season 8th in the Drivers' Championship with 126 points; his team mate Magnussen finished 11th with 55 points.
    More Details Hide Details With Alonso moving to McLaren for the season, when they would be using Honda engines, the team had not announced in November 2014 whether they would be retaining Button or Magnussen as Alonso's team-mate, leaving both 2014 drivers wondering whether they would be driving in Formula One in 2015. Button commented that his father would have been "livid" about his uncertain future. After the last race of the season, at which Hamilton won the Drivers' Championship for the second time and had been a team mate of Button's in the past, Hamilton said that "McLaren would be smart" to keep Button. "Developing, building a team, stabilising a team, you need strong drivers to lead the team, and he's the full package."
  • 2013
    Age 33
    After a difficult 2013 season with McLaren, it was announced in November 2013 that Danish driver, Kevin Magnussen would replace Sergio Pérez as Button's teammate for the 2014 season, after being a member of McLaren's Young Driver Programme.
    More Details Hide Details There was a rule change for the 2014 season where the drivers could pick a car number and this would be their unique and personal car number for their Formula One career. Button picked number 22 which was the car number he raced under during his World Championship winning year for Brawn GP in. At the first race, the, Button finished the race in 4th place. However, as 2nd placed Daniel Ricciardo was subsequently disqualified after his car was found to have exceeded the maximum allowed fuel flow rate of 100, Button was promoted to 3rd.
    Button's best result in 2013 was a 4th place at the last Grand Prix of the season in Brazil, ending a difficult and under-performing season for Button and the McLaren team as a whole in recent times.
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  • 2012
    Age 32
    Button was partnered with Mexican driver Sergio Pérez after Lewis Hamilton left to join Mercedes after Pérez impressed McLaren CEO Martin Whitmarsh with the Sauber team in 2012.
    More Details Hide Details Throughout the season and particularly at the Monaco and Bahrain Grand Prix, there was exciting racing between the two drivers, leading to Button making the following comment on his team radio, asking the team to "Calm him (Pérez) down!". Button was very critical of Pérez and his driving style after the race.
    Button remained at McLaren for the 2012 season, again partnering Hamilton.
    More Details Hide Details Button qualified second to Hamilton, before going on to win the first race of the season in Australia. Button went on to qualify second to Hamilton at the following race in Malaysia, however he finished 14th after a collision with the HRT of Narain Karthikeyan and a lack of grip. This was Button's first non-points finish since the 2010 Korean Grand Prix and it ended a points streak which started at the 2011 Hungarian Grand Prix. Button finished second in China two weeks later. In the Button qualified fourth behind his team mate Lewis Hamilton in second. During the race Button found frustration with the levels of grip and retired on lap 55 due to an exhaust failure. At the Button qualified 11th, the first time he had qualified outside the top ten all season. After failing to finish above 8th in the next four races, Button finished third in Germany, although he was later promoted to second after Sebastian Vettel was penalised in the race. He went on to pick up his first pole position for over three years at Belgium. Button won the race becoming the first driver of the season to lead every lap of a Grand Prix. Button qualified in second place behind his team-mate at the, and remained in second place until he had to pull up and retire with a fuel pressure problems two-thirds of the way through the race.
  • 2011
    Age 31
    In 2011, Button won three Grands Prix, set three fastest laps and finished on the podium twelve times.
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  • TWENTIES
  • 2009
    Age 29
    In 2009, Button began dating model Jessica Michibata.
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    Following the buy-out of Brawn by Mercedes, Button announced on 18 November 2009 that he would be leaving the team to move to McLaren for the season.
    More Details Hide Details He signed a three-year deal for a reported £6 million per season to drive alongside former world champion Lewis Hamilton. Button said he moved because he wanted the motivation and challenge from competing head-to-head with Hamilton, and that Brawn had offered him more money. A number of people, including former Formula One drivers John Watson, Jackie Stewart and Eddie Irvine, believed the move was a mistake, and that Button would struggle to compete with Hamilton at McLaren. After a seventh-place finish in the opening round in Bahrain, Button won the second race in Australia from fourth on the grid. Button was the first to come in for slick tyres on a damp but drying track, which lifted him to second place after the other drivers had pitted. He inherited the lead when Vettel retired with brake problems and maintained his lead to the end without changing his tyres again. His victory made him the thirteenth driver in Formula One history to have won Grands Prix for at least three different constructors. Following an eighth-place finish in Malaysia, after starting seventeenth, Button went on to win his second race of the season from fifth on the grid in China, by staying on slick tyres while most of the other drivers pitted for intermediates, he was promoted to second place. However, the rain did not come, and the other drivers had to pit again for dry tyres.
    At the awards ceremony on 13 December 2009, Button was awarded second place.
    More Details Hide Details On 6 December, Button won the BBC West Country's Sports Personality of the Year at the University of Bath. He won the main award against racehorse trainer Paul Nicholls, cricketer Marcus Trescothick and golfer Chris Wood. He also won the Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year award. Button was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2010 New Year Honours for his services to motorsport. Button's home town, Frome, has named a street, Jenson Avenue, after him, and has awarded him the Freedom of the town. The town also intends to name a new bridge over the River Frome 'The Jenson Button Bridge'.
    On 30 November 2009, Button was announced as one of the ten men and women shortlisted for the 2009 BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award.
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    Button wrote a book about his 2009 season, entitled "My Championship Year", which was published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson on 19 November 2009.
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    He went on to win a record-equalling six of the first seven races of the 2009 season, securing the World Drivers' Championship at the Brazilian Grand Prix, having led on points all season; his success also helped Brawn GP to secure the World Constructors' Championship.
    More Details Hide Details For, he moved to McLaren, partnering fellow British racer and former World Champion Lewis Hamilton. After finishing fifth for the team in 2010, Button finished the season as runner-up. In he took his first pole for McLaren at the 2012 Belgian Grand Prix. He spent a fifth season with the McLaren team in 2014, his fifteenth in Formula One. From the races that Button has started he has won, with a total of podium finishes.
    He was the 2009 Formula One World Champion, driving for Brawn GP.
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  • 2008
    Age 28
    On 5 December 2008, Honda announced that they were quitting Formula One, due to the global economic crisis, leaving Button's chances of a drive in dependent on the team finding a buyer.
    More Details Hide Details On 5 March 2009, it was announced that the former Honda team would race in 2009 as Brawn GP, following a late buy-out by Ross Brawn, the previous team principal of Honda Racing. Button and Rubens Barrichello were confirmed as the team's drivers for, with Button reported to have taken a 50% pay cut as part of the deal. In the first half of the year the Brawn team benefited from a controversial diffuser design, which gave the teams using it an advantage over teams that did not. Once the major teams introduced their own reconfigured diffusers Button's dominance ended, with Button winning 6 of the first 7 races, but averaging only 6th in the following ten races. Brawn GP impressed from the first Grand Prix: Button took pole position in Australia, his first for the team and third ever, with Barrichello qualifying in second. Button then led from start to finish to win the race ahead of his team-mate—the first time a team had scored a 1–2 finish on their debut since —with Button describing it as "a fairytale ending for the first race". One week later he repeated the accomplishment, taking pole position and winning a rain-curtailed due to the rain the race was red flagged and only half points were awarded. At the, Button finished third behind Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber, but returned to winning ways the following week in Bahrain despite only qualifying fourth.
  • 2007
    Age 27
    Button made no secret of his frustration regarding his current situation; he described his 2007 season as "a total disaster".
    More Details Hide Details Button did, however, record several impressive outings towards the end of the season, especially when rain was prominent. Button stayed with Honda for, and continued to be partnered by Barrichello. The Honda RA108 proved to be uncompetitive, and he scored his only points at the with 6th place, but did not finish in the wet in front of his home crowd at Silverstone, where Barrichello finished third.
    At the, Button finished eighth, earning his and Honda's first point of 2007.
    More Details Hide Details Following the, it was announced that Button would remain with Honda for. As Button's place as the pre-eminent British driver in Formula One was effectively taken by Lewis Hamilton, former champion Nigel Mansell criticised Button, saying: "Jenson should have won more races, he has under-performed and that is down to him." Honda team boss Nick Fry defended his driver, saying: "I would refute everything Nigel has said, and particularly I think his comments about Jenson's reputation for partying are about five years out of date his increasing maturity and the way he changed his lifestyle is extremely noticeable."
    Alan Henry writing in The Guardian 2007 F1 season guide, predicted: "Button will win a couple more races but is not a title contender."
    More Details Hide Details He was proved to be wrong, as the Honda RA107 proved to be aerodynamically poor. At the first race of the season in Australia, Button only managed to qualify 14th after handling problems. The race was no better, as he endured considerable understeer throughout, was given a drive-through penalty for speeding in the pit lane and finished 15th. The next two races in Malaysia and Bahrain were just as unsuccessful, Button finishing 12th behind team-mate Barrichello in Malaysia, and not even completing a lap in Bahrain, after colliding with Red Bull Racing driver David Coulthard at Turn 4.
    In 2007, Button again competed with Honda alongside Barrichello.
    More Details Hide Details He was unable to take part in winter testing, prior to the season because of two hairline fractures to his ribs, sustained in a karting incident in late 2006. Former British world champion Damon Hill aired doubts over Button's hopes to be a championship contender at Honda over the coming season, saying, "if he is serious... he has to get himself in a car that is a championship contender."
    At the British Academy Television Awards 2007, Button's first win earned ITV1 a BAFTA under the category of 'Best Sport'.
    More Details Hide Details Button finished fourth or fifth at each of the next five races and finished the season with a podium finish at the final round in Brazil. Over the last six races of the season, Button scored more points (35) than any other driver.
  • 2006
    Age 26
    Button took the first win of his career in 2006 at a chaotic – the 113th Grand Prix start of his career.
    More Details Hide Details He started 14th after a 10-place grid penalty for an engine change. The race was badly affected by heavy rain, and Button passed a number of drivers in the early laps – including championship contender Michael Schumacher – and was up to fourth by lap 10. Following the retirement of leading drivers Kimi Räikkönen and Fernando Alonso, he went on to win the race by just over half a minute from Pedro de la Rosa and Nick Heidfeld. Alonso was behind Button on the racetrack when he retired, although Button still had one pitstop to make. Button's win bettered Nigel Mansell's 1989 win from 12th on the grid at the Hungaroring. Button was the first British driver to win since David Coulthard in March 2003, and the first English driver to win since Johnny Herbert won the 1999 European Grand Prix. He was the second driver after Räikkönen to win a race despite a grid penalty for changing an engine.
    The new team performed well in testing prior to the 2006 season, helped by the extra resources now available from Honda, and Button was confident in the car.
    More Details Hide Details The early part of the season proved difficult; at the first round, he scored five points with 4th place, and finished on the podium in Malaysia. In Australia, he qualified on pole, but was overtaken on the run to the first corner by Fernando Alonso and Kimi Räikkönen after a safety car period; he was running 5th in the race, before his engine blew at the last corner on the last lap. He stopped short of the finish line to avoid an engine penalty. At his home race at Silverstone, he qualified 19th after he lost time being weighed, and his team failed to get him on track quickly enough. He spun off on lap eight due to an engine oil leak. At the, Button out-qualified Barrichello for the first time since Imola, but finished outside the points in ninth. He retired at the, in a first lap collision involving several drivers and again at the due to an engine failure. At the, Button was again pulled into the weighbridge, but went on to qualify fourth. After running third for a while in the race, Button eventually finished fourth.
    For the second year in a row, Button had contract disputes involving BAR and Williams. Button had signed a pre-contract to drive for Williams in 2006, but he now believed his prospects would be better at BAR, and that his Williams contract was not binding.
    More Details Hide Details Frank Williams insisted the contract was fully binding, and that there would be "absolutely no turning back"; his team required Button to fulfil some contractual obligations with sponsors. After several weeks of talks, Williams agreed to release Button in exchange for an estimated £18 million in compensation. BAR brought in experienced driver Rubens Barrichello from Ferrari to partner Button, replacing Takuma Sato. In October, Honda bought the remaining 55 percent of BAR from British American Tobacco, renaming the team Honda Racing F1; Button said at the time, "Honda buying the team is amazing news and really shows their commitment to winning the world championship".
  • 2005
    Age 25
    He was engaged to the actress and singer Louise Griffiths before ending their five-year relationship in May 2005.
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    Despite the feud, Button insisted he had his team's backing, and was optimistic for the 2005 season.
    More Details Hide Details He endured a difficult start: BAR were off the pace in the first race in Australia; and in the following race in Malaysia, both cars retired with engine failure after only three laps. Two weeks later in the Bahrain Grand Prix, Button had fought his way to fourth place from eleventh on the grid, before a clutch problem forced him into another retirement. The poor start only got worse at the. Button finished third, but after the race scrutineers found his car had a second fuel tank kept inside the main tank; once both were drained, his car was 5.4 kg underweight. Although the race stewards took no action, the FIA appealed against the decision and the case was examined by the FIA International Court of Appeal. It could not be proved that BAR were deliberately cheating; however, for contravention of the rules, both drivers were stripped of their points from San Marino and banned from the next two races.
  • 2004
    Age 24
    In 2004 he finished 3rd in the World Drivers' Championship, with only the two Ferraris ahead of him.
    More Details Hide Details BAR was subsequently renamed Honda for the 2006 season, during which Button won his first Grand Prix in Hungary, after 113 races. Following the withdrawal of Honda from the sport in December 2008, he was left without a drive for the 2009 season, until Ross Brawn led a management buyout of the team in February 2009, and Button suddenly found himself in a highly competitive, Mercedes-engined car.
  • 2003
    Age 23
    Despite Button's performances, and his desire to stay with Renault, it was announced at the French Grand Prix that he would make way in 2003 for test driver Fernando Alonso.
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    Williams chose not to sell Button's contract, keeping the right to recall him in 2003.
    More Details Hide Details He went to Benetton on a two-year loan. Button's best qualification of the season was third place in the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps; and his best result was fourth in the German Grand Prix. Despite the worries about his inexperience, he made few mistakes during the season, the most notable coming in the Italian Grand Prix at Monza. Under safety car conditions Button swerved to avoid the pack which had bunched up, and subsequently crashed into the barrier; he blamed Michael Schumacher who had been leading at the time (and so controlling the pace), and Schumacher apologised for it after the race. Button finished his impressive debut season in eighth place with 12 points (Ralf Schumacher finished fifth with 24). For, Button partnered experienced driver Giancarlo Fisichella at Benetton, which had recently been purchased by Renault. He endured a dismal season: the Benetton car was very uncompetitive and he was consistently outperformed by his teammate. He finished 17th in the Drivers' Championship with only 2 points, with his best result being fifth place at the. His poor form led to speculation he would be replaced before the end of the year; team principal Flavio Briatore said, "Either he shows he's super-good or he leaves the top echelon of drivers", and reportedly offered him the chance to walk. Button believed that his inexperience showed as he struggled to help his team set up a competitive car.
  • TEENAGE
  • 1999
    Age 19
    At the end of 1999, Button had his McLaren test prize at Silverstone, and also tested for the Prost team.
    More Details Hide Details A vacant race seat became available at the Williams team, following the departure of Alex Zanardi, and team boss Frank Williams arranged a 'shoot-out' test between Button and Formula 3000 racer Bruno Junqueira, with Button securing the drive. This made him Britain's youngest ever Formula One driver. Button was heavily hyped before his first race: former driver Gerhard Berger described him as a "phenomenon"; the head of his karting team, Paul Lemmens, compared him to Ayrton Senna; and Williams' technical director Patrick Head said he was "remarkably mature and definitely a star of the future". However some had misgivings about his lack of experience and ability to cope with the pressures of Formula One. Making his début in Australia, Button crashed during practice and qualified second-last on the grid. However, he performed strongly in the race and was set to score a point before his engine failed 11 laps from the finish. A sixth-place finish at the next race in Brazil made him, at the time, the youngest driver ever to score a point. In his first six races, he outqualified his teammate Ralf Schumacher twice, and was consistently close in pace; journalist David Tremayne described Button's start as "the stuff of any team owner's wildest dreams". However, Williams had intended to use Button only until they could exercise their option to buy the highly rated Juan Pablo Montoya out of his contract at Ganassi Racing.
    Button entered the British Formula 3 Championship in 1999, with the Promatecme team.
    More Details Hide Details He won three times —at Thruxton, Pembrey and Silverstone—and finished the season as the top rookie driver, and third overall. He finished fifth and second respectively in the Marlboro Masters and Macau Grand Prix, losing out by .035 seconds to winner Darren Manning in the latter.
  • 1998
    Age 18
    At the end of 1998, he won the annual McLaren Autosport BRDC Young Driver Award.
    More Details Hide Details His prize included a test in a McLaren Formula One car, which he received at the end of the following year.
  • 1997
    Age 17
    In July, Button signed a two-year contract with a two-year option for British American Racing, partnering 1997 world champion Jacques Villeneuve.
    More Details Hide Details An important factor in his decision was the chance to work with David Richards, the BAR team principal. He finished the season seventh with 14 points, one place and 5 points ahead of Trulli. Button faced early hostility from new teammate Villeneuve, who suggested that Button had been hired for his marketing appeal more than his ability, and compared him to a "member of a boy band". Button responded by denying he had anything to prove to Villeneuve; "I am not here to earn Jacques' respect, I am here to win and move the team forward". Their relationship did not improve after the first Grand Prix in Australia: Villeneuve was due to pit, but stayed out an extra lap and pitted when Button was due in, leaving Button waiting in the pit lane while Villeneuve's car was serviced. Villeneuve blamed it on "radio problems", but both Button and team principal David Richards hinted that they did not believe him. Button performed well in the first six races, scoring eight points (the points system had changed that year to award points to the top eight finishers), including fourth place at the Austrian Grand Prix; Villeneuve had scored only three. Button crashed heavily at 185 mph (298 km/h) during Saturday practice in Monaco, briefly knocking him unconscious, and he was detained in hospital overnight. Despite the accident Button still wanted to race, but was withdrawn by his team on medical advice.
    In 1997, he won the Ayrton Senna Memorial Cup, and also became the youngest driver ever to win the European Super A Championship.
    More Details Hide Details Aged 18, Button moved into car racing, winning the British Formula Ford Championship with Haywood Racing; he also triumphed in the Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch.
  • 1994
    Age 14
    However, after a while the boy moved to his stepmother Pippa Kerr, who had been married by his father in 1994.
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  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1991
    Age 11
    He won all 34 races of the 1991 British Cadet Kart Championship, along with the title with team Wright karts.
    More Details Hide Details Further successes followed, including three triumphs in the British Open Kart Championship.
  • 1989
    Age 9
    In 1989, aged nine, he came first in the British Super Prix.
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  • 1980
    Age 0
    Button was born on 19 January 1980 in Frome, Somerset and brought up in nearby Vobster.
    More Details Hide Details He was named after his father's Danish friend and rallycross opponent Erling Jensen, changing the "e" to an "o" to differentiate it from Jensen Motors. He was educated at Vallis First School, Selwood Middle School and Frome Community College. He is the fourth child of South African Simone Lyons and former Rallycross driver John Button, who was well known in the UK during most of the 1970s for his so-called Colorado Beetle Volkswagen, before switching to a VW Golf Mk1 in 1978. After his parents divorced when he was seven, he and his three elder sisters were brought up by their mother in Frome.
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