Hungarian Grand Prix winner Jenson Button was the victim of an online hacking breach over the weekend – with fake claims being posted on his website that the 2009 F1 World Champion had been 'critically' injured in a 'serious' road car accident in Budapest.
Button's fans were left shocked when the message appeared on the McLaren-Mercedes star's website in-between qualifying at the Hungaroring and the race itself – one that he would go on to brilliantly dominate to tally his second victory of the F1 2011 campaign on his 200th appearance in the top flight.
'Jenson Button is in a critical condition after being involved in a serious accident,' the hacker had posted. 'Jenson was taken to Budapest's AEK hospital where he is undergoing medical attention. It's unclear what injuries Jenson sustained during the accident at this time. Jenson's team is in contact with the FIA and currently discussing whether he is able to race.'
The security breach was brought to the attention of Button's representatives shortly after 11:30pm on Saturday, at which point the 31-year-old was asleep and 'totally oblivious' to the drama. The website was temporarily taken down, and a spokesman for the eleven-time grand prix-winner has condemned the stunt.
“The story is completely untrue and is a very distasteful hoax,” he asserted. “The website was immediately taken down and its security will now be reviewed. Jenson was asleep in bed when we were made aware that someone had hacked into his site and made the untrue claims. We can assure people that he is completely fit and healthy.”
'Earlier, some of you may have seen a news article here on JensonButton.com regarding a car accident,' added a subsequent statement posted on the site by Button's management team. 'This article was completely false and we are currently investigating how an unauthorised person was able to post to the site. Suffice to say Jenson is safe, well and tucked up in bed looking forward to [the] race. We can only apologise for any alarm this may have caused.'
Button himself, meanwhile, responded with some bemusement to the bizarre and unsolicited attack, writing on Twitter
on Sunday morning: 'Morning everyone I'm sure you've realized by now but someone hacked into my website, I'm completely fine and on my way to #200. The guy who did it obviously didn't have any better offers on a Saturday night so stayed home to do that instead #getsomefriends.'