Despite winning the F1 world title after almost a decade in the top flight, and with a team that virtually bit the dust over the winter of 2008-09, Jenson Button couldn't quite add another top spot to his haul courtesy of readers.

The Briton was always the favourite to take the title after Brawn GP's BGP001 emerged as the car to beat in the opening races, aided as it was by the controversial double diffuser design that would later be cleared for use by all. Having climbed from the cockpit at his first test with a broad smile on his face, Button went on to win the opening race in Melbourne, and then add five further victories - in Malaysia, Bahrain, Spain, Monaco and Turkey - before Brawn's dominance began to wane.

By that stage, however, he had a comfortable lead in the standings and, as his rivals from Red Bull and McLaren closed the gap on track, was able to weather the storm and collect valuable additions to his points tally over the second half.

Despite his critics claiming that he was showing signs of cracking under the pressure of taking the title, Button continued to be one of the best racers on the circuit, a fact he ably demonstrated by carving through the field at Interlagos to take the fifth place he needed to ensure the drivers' crown. That lifted the weight from his shoulders and he celebrated with only his second podium since Istanbul as he went wheel-to-wheel with Mark Webber over the final laps of the season in Abu Dhabi.

While the F1 world debated whether Button was a worthy champion - the Briton didn't lead a lap after Turkey - he found himself surplus to requirements at the team he took to the top, leaving the soon-to-be-rechristened Mercedes Grand Prix for McLaren, where he will partner his predecessor as champion Lewis Hamilton in 2010.

Statistics in 2009:

Championship finish: 1st

Starts: 17

Victories: 6

Pole positions: 4

Fastest laps: 2

Podiums: 9 (including wins)

Points: 95

Points finishes: 16

Top ten grid positions: 14


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