Jenson Button

Jenson Button

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS

2018 - Race Driver, Super GT, 1st overall: 1 win, 4 podiums

2011 - Race Driver, McLaren, 2nd overall: 3 wins, 12 podiums

2009 - Race Driver, Brawn, 1st overall: 6 wins, 9 podiums

2004 - Race Driver, British American Racing, 3rd overall: 0 wins, 10 podiums

1998 - Race Driver, British Formula Ford, 1st overall: 7 wins, 12 podiums

Jenson began his racing career on the karting track where he achieved instant success. Winning the British Super Prix in 1989, aged nine, was just the beginning. Further karting successes followed as Jenson was British Open Karting Champion on three occasions and later became the youngest ever winner of the European Super A category, aged just 17.

The following year he made the step from karts to cars at the age of 18. He won the British Formula Ford championship with nine wins for Haywood Racing and also triumphed in the prestigious Formula Ford Festival ahead of Dan Wheldon and Nicolas Kiesa.

After such a successful transition to racing cars he won the 1998 McLaren Autosport BRDC Young Driver of the Year Award. At 19 he entered the British Formula Three championship with Promatecme and won three races, finishing the year as the top rookie, third overall behind Marc Hynes and Luciano Burti.

He finished fifth in the F3 Masters at Zandvoort and fared even better at the prestigious Macau Grand Prix, finishing runner-up. As the racing season drew to a close Button had his first taste of F1 machinery in a McLaren as reward for his Autosport Award win the previous season. He also tested for the Prost Grand Prix team.

Jenson got his big break in Formula 1 in 2000 with Williams. Button became the youngest British driver to start an F1 race, aged just 20 years and 53 days, as he made his debut in Australia. That year, he produced some standout performances including finishing fourth at the chaotic German Grand Prix in Hockenheim, in addition to stunning the Formula 1 paddock by qualifying third for the Belgian Grand Prix.

After moving to Benetton for two years, Button joined British American Racing in 2003, where he immediately made his mark by outscoring his championship-winning team-mate Jacques Villeneuve by 17 points to six. In 2004 Button became a regular visitor to the podium, securing his first F1 podium in Malaysia, the first of 10 that season which meant he finished third in the Drivers’ Championship. Jenson’s maiden Grand Prix victory came in 2006 as he won a remarkable Hungarian Grand Prix having started 14th on the grid.

2007 and 2008 were more testing seasons for Jenson and it was not sure whether he would be racing in 2009 due to Honda’s decision to cease involvement in the sport. The team was saved just a few weeks before the start of the season and renamed Brawn GP. After winning six of the first seven races, he continued to secure strong points-scoring finishes to realise his dream and become World Drivers’ Champion.

Jenson arrived at McLaren as reigning world champion in 2010 and immediately got off to a great start with wins in Australia and China. He won further races in 2011 in Hungary and Japan, plus an incredible Canadian Grand Prix where he charged through the field from last to first, to finish second in the World Drivers’ Championship. He achieved further success in 2012, winning in Australia, Belgium and Brazil to finish fifth overall. He continued with McLaren Honda until the end of the 2017 season, where he played a critical part in developing and improving the technical package.

Following this, he went on to compete in Japan’s Super GT series in 2018, where he claimed the title with teammate Naoki Yamamoto though the pair won just one of the eight rounds.

In January 2021, Button joined Williams Racing as Senior Advisor on a multi-year deal, 21 years after he first raced for the team. He will work with the race and Williams Academy drivers on-track and at the team's headquarters along with conducting ambassadorial duties for the team. Button has also recently launched JBXE to compete in the all-electric SUV off-road racing series Extreme E from the 2021 season.