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Who is Jenson Button?

Who is Jenson Button?

14 May - 19:15

Jenson Button is a British driver and the world champion of the 2009 Formula One season. He currently competes in the WEC hypercar championship for Hertz Team Jota. Here is an overview of Button's career and what he is doing currently in motorsport.

Formula 1 career

Jenson Button began his career on the British Formula scene, and after he won the British Formula Ford Championship in 1998 and then a year later he finished third in the British Formula 3. As a result, in 2000, he was signed by BMW Williams, where he finished eighth in the drivers' championship in his rookie year. In 2001, the Briton was signed by Benetton Renault (at the time Benetton was just purchased by the French constructor) and stayed for another season, but failed to step on the podium.

In Button's place, Renault signed Fernando Alonso for the 2003 season. As a result, he joined BAR Honda. After finishing ninth that year, in 2004, Button finally scored his first podium at the Malaysian Grand Prix. That year, he scored 10 podiums and finished third in the overall standings behind the two Ferrari drivers, Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello.

The Briton he scored two more podiums in 2005, but he was considered to be the 'Lando Norris' of his era, as he failed to win a race. Like Norris managed to finally get over the line at the 2024 Miami Grand Prix, Button did the same at the 2006 Hungarian Grand Prix, as he mastered the changeable conditions and won from P14 on the grid.

Then Honda slowly fell down the ranks, over two seasons in 2007 and 2008, Button could only score nine points in total. Honda then sold the team to Ross Brawn for a single pound, and Button's fortunes have changed. Brawn GP suddenly were at the top, Button won six Grands Prix and also became a world champion after they dominated the first half of the season.

Brawn GP became Mercedes in 2010, and the defending world champion was signed by McLaren. In three seasons, he won eight Grands Prix with the British team, including his famous victory at the 2011 Canadian Grand Prix, which was the longest race in F1 ever in rainy conditions. That season, he also finished second behind Sebastian Vettel in the championship, but the German was the clear favourite that season.

By that time, Button was a well-dedicated driver on the grid, known for his skills in rainy conditions and managing the tyres really well. However, McLaren, similarly to Honda, also started to fall down the ranks of the F1 grid, especially after Honda became their engine supplier in 2015. Button scored his final podium 2014 Australian Grand Prix in the competition. He did return for one last race in 2017 in Monaco, when Fernando Alonso left to compete at the Indy 500.

Button outside of F1

Button did not retire for motorsport even though he left F1. After trying out Super GT in 2017, Button won the championship in 2018 together with Naoki Yamamoto in the GT500 category. That year, Button also tried out the 24h of Le Mans race, but his debut there ended with a DNF.

Since then, Button also tried out several other competitions and events, including DTM, British GT Championship, Extreme E, the Nitro Rallycross Championship and NASCAR. He also currently owns a team in Extreme E and from 2020 until 2022, he ran a British GT team together with Team RJN. Together with champions in their respective fields, Mike Rockenfeller and Jimmie Johnson, he took part in the 2024 24h of Le Mans race in Hendrick Motorsports Garage 56 project.

This year, Button competed at the 2024 Rolex 24 at Daytona race in IMSA, and also drives from Hertz Team Jota in the WEC. In 2021, Button also joined Williams as a Senior Advisor, and also occasionally appears on Sky Sports in their F1 broadcasts.