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Button: Goal is to be first British back-to-back champion

Brawn GP's newly-crowned F1 World Champion Jenson Button bids to become the first British driver in F1 history to claim back-to-back titles in the top flight
Fresh from his Interlagos success, newly-crowned F1 World Champion Jenson Button has vowed to break the mould by doing something no British driver at the highest level has ever accomplished before – claiming back-to-back title glories by winning again in 2010.

By taking the chequered flag fifth in the Brazilian Grand Prix at the end of an impressively combative and aggressive performance from 14th on the grid, Button did enough to wrap up the laurels with one race to spare, having led the standings from the word 'go' in 2009 following his Australian Grand Prix success Down Under in Melbourne all the way back in March.

Though the Brawn GP star has not triumphed since the Turkish Grand Prix in Istanbul more than four months ago – and indeed has ascended the rostrum only once in the intervening nine outings, at Monza in September – his risk-taking drive with everything at stake in São Paulo silenced the doubters and critics who had claimed that he would consequently be an undeserving champion.

In sealing the deal, the 29-year-old became the tenth of his countrymen to lift the honours, following in the wheel tracks of F1 greats Mike Hawthorn (1958), Graham Hill (1962, 1968), Jim Clark (1963, 1965), John Surtees (1964), Sir Jackie Stewart (1969, 1971, 1973), James Hunt (1976), Nigel Mansell (1992), Damon Hill (1996) and Lewis Hamilton (2008). None of the previous nine, however, managed to triumph in consecutive seasons – leaving Button with a clear objective for 2010, towards which his attentions have already been turned.

“No British driver has ever won back-to-back titles,” the 31st man to claim the F1 World Championship crown is quoted as having said by the BBC, “so that's an ambition. This team is not a one-hit wonder, and neither am I. It's great to win the world championship, and every person that's done it will tell you that – but to be able to defend it is exceptional.”

McLaren-Mercedes compatriot Hamilton can doubtless corroborate that following his own defence this year – enduring a torrid first half to the campaign that saw him notch up just nine points from the opening nine grands prix as he grappled with a distinctly uncompetitive car beneath him – but one stumbling block at the moment is that Button has still to ink a new contract with Brawn, with an ongoing dispute over his financial requirements understood to be the key sticking point in negotiations.

Button accepted a significant £5 million pay cut last winter to help the Brackley-based outfit to stay afloat and rise phoenix-like from the ashes in the wake of parent company Honda's sudden and shock withdrawal at the end of 2008 – but despite the team now being rather healthier in terms of its finances as a result of Virgin's involvement and its outstanding run of success, it appears there is an unwillingness to re-instate his erstwhile salary. Not so, insists the Frome-born ace, who contends that both sides have simply been waiting for the right time to sit down and hammer out the finer details.

“I would like to stay with Brawn,” the seven-time grand prix-winner underlined. “The team might have changed names and it might have shrunk in size, but I love the atmosphere of this team and the way that we all pull together in the difficult times – and we've been through a lot of difficult times in the past.

“We've been waiting until now to discuss the future; it's the perfect thing to do. It's not about the money. I want to be with a team that can win. I have become world champion with a team that nobody ever thought would win the championship – especially in their first year – but there are many things that we need to talk about. We've achieved so much together, we respect each other very much and it's just that the talks haven't taken place.”

Brawn also comfortably clinched the constructors' title at Interlagos, the culmination of a rollercoaster year that saw the team's entry only finally confirmed just three weeks prior to the start of the season thanks in large part to the support and investment of engine-supplier – and quite likely future partner and majority shareholder, if paddock speculation is to be believed – Mercedes-Benz.

Related Pictures

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Jenson Button, F1 Champion [Pic credit: Brawn GP]
Jenson Button, F1 Champion [Pic credit: Brawn GP]
Antonio Giovinazzi - Sauber F1 Team
McLaren - Honda MCL32
Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren MCL32 F1 launch, [Credit: McLaren]
McLaren MCL32, McLaren-Honda, [Credit: McLaren]
McLaren MCL32
McLaren MCL32
McLaren MCL32
McLaren Honda MCL32
Ferrari SF70H
Ferrari SF70H
The Ferrari SF70H - Scuderia Ferrari
Ferrari SF70H, Ferrari launch [Credit: Ferrari]
Ferrari SF70H, Ferrari launch [Credit: Ferrari]
Ferrari SF70H
Toto Wolff (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 Shareholder and Executive Director.
Front suspension Mercedes Petronas AMG F1 W08. 

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October 20, 2009 1:34 PM
Last Edited 618 days ago

I like Jenson - I met him in an airport lounge once, and he was very friendly. He's a nice guy who can drive a car smoothly. HOWEVER. Will he win next year? I doubt it. No diffuser advantage, a competitive McLaren and Ferrari, the continued threat from Redbull and co? It's hard to see how next year he will be able to over power the likes of Vettel, Alonso and Hamilton (and maybe even Raikkonen if he gets a McL drive.) Nevertheless it doesn't take anything away from his achievements this year... well done Jenson, some people will say you were lucky - but luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. You were prepared for the opportunity that presented itself in '09!

Rus the Bus - Unregistered

October 20, 2009 2:39 PM

Oh come on all you Jensen haters! OK, I accept that JB isn't the biggest talent on the grid, but he is one of the smoothest and most technical drivers out there. He was a very special junior earlier in his career, showed Jaques V a clean pair of exhausts when he 1st joined BAR & only lost his way a little when Honda proved it couldn't design a donkey in the pre Ross Brawn days! A motivated JB in a competitive car is y2k version of Prost, a safe and fast driver, who will "think" a race rather than grab short term headlines with leary moves that don't achieve reults. Yes he is a nice guy too, not cockey, never rude and always prepared to express genuine feelings. A champ to be proud of!

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