Jenson Button is F1 world champion

Six wins in the first seven races put Button on course for the title

Six wins in the first seven races put Button on course for the title

Jenson Button has won the 2009 F1 drivers’ championship.

He climbed from 14th to fifth in the Brazilian Grand Prix thanks to a combination of a crash at the start of the race and several bold passes by the Brawn driver.

He was already in a position to win the title when fortune dealt another blow to his team mate. Lewis Hamilton passed Rubens Barrichello for third with ten laps to go and clipped the Brawn’s left-rear tyre in the process. Barrichello was forced to make an extra pit stop, and fell to eighth.

It’s a remarkable turnaround for Button’s career. He spent the last two seasons in the doldrums as Honda produced two woefully uncompetitive cars.

The Japanese manufacturer quit F1 at the end of last season. But Button stayed with the newly-formed Brawn team, taking a pay cut as 40% of the staff were laid off to cut costs.

His loyalty was rewarded as the team’s 2009 car proved a triumph. He won six of the first seven rounds, giving him a 26-point lead over team mate Barrichello.

Although Button has struggled to repeat his early season form, he has continued to collect points regularly. And whatever the final racs brings, no driver will win more races this year than he has.

Countries’ champions

Button takes the world championship title from fellow Briton Lewis Hamilton. It’s the first consecutive championship win for a British driver or drivers in four decades: Graham Hill winning in 1968 and Jackie Stewart in 1969.

By a strange coincidence Button won the championship by finishing fifth – just as Hamilton did last year.

Britain now has ten different world champions, who have won 14 titles between them, more than any other country:

1. Britain 14 (Mike Hawthorn, Graham Hill (2), Jim Clark (2), John Surtees, Jackie Stewart (3), James Hunt, Nigel Mansell, Damon Hill, Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button )
2. Brazil 8 (Emerson Fittipaldi (2), Nelson Piquet (3), Ayrton Senna (3))
3. Germany 7 (Michael Schumacher)
4. Argentina 5 (Juan Manuel Fangio)
=5. Australia 4 (Jack Brabham (3), Alan Jones)
=5. Austria 4 (Jochen Rindt, Niki Lauda (3))
=5. France 4 (Alain Prost)
=5. Finland 4 (Keke Rosberg, Mika Hakkinen (2), Kimi Raikkonen)
9. Italy 3 (Giuseppi Farina, Alberto Ascari (2))
=10. United States 2 (Phil Hill, Mario Andretti)
=10. Spain 2 (Fernando Alonso)
=12. New Zealand 1 (Denny Hulme)
=12. South Africa 1 (Jody Scheckter)
=12. Canada 1 (Jacques Villeneuve)

Read more about Jenson Button

2009 Brazilian Grand Prix

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244 comments on Jenson Button is F1 world champion

  1. Dorian said on 18th October 2009, 19:38

    Congratulations to Button!!!!!!!!

    Congratulations to Brawn!!!!!!!!!

    What a race!!!!!

    • You mean congratulations to Mercedes! We will see what happens with the engines next year. I thought it was different that sub-teams dominated, but let’s get back to what everyone wants to see McClaren, Ferrari, & Toyota dominating the field, and not hampered by the silly F1 rules.

      • Toyota?

      • HounslowBusGarage said on 19th October 2009, 15:43

        but let’s get back to what everyone wants to see McClaren, Ferrari, & Toyota dominating the field

        That’s not what I want to see. I don’t want to see any one team ‘dominating the field’, I want to see racing.

      • damjan006 said on 19th October 2009, 16:50

        I think if Honda didn’t pull out of Formula 1, “BrawnGP” with Honda engine would have won the title way sooner. First of all that car was build around Honda engine and when they switched to Mercedes they made some compromises that influenced the car speed. Secondly, lots of finances were lost when Honda pulled out, salaries were cut etc… Anyway correct me if I am wrong and pardon my English :)

  2. a great drive and a great race to top a quiet insane season for jenson!!! well done mate!!

  3. LolaF1 said on 18th October 2009, 19:40

    Oh My God! I nearly pee’d myself!

    Congratulations to Jenson & everyone at Brawn & well done to the very worthy winners of both championships.

    I look forward to seeing them & you lot at Bluewater on tuesday.


  5. Hakka said on 18th October 2009, 19:42

    What impressed me most about Jenson Button’s overtaking moves today was not the total number of them (which was quite healthy in itself), but how superbly executed and well calculated they were – the risk levels were just right. Nothing too rash, and not too tentative. Just perfect. Imagine Massa trying to pass a slower car from the back and you’ll see the contrast*.

    * Steph is going to bite my head off here.

    • I agree. He was driver of the day for me.

    • steph90 said on 18th October 2009, 20:02

      lol I won’t, glad I have made such an impression, it’s ok you can have your opinion it is the passion of F1, I don’t mind a little bit of a debate. I quite like it really. I would say look at Brit 07 though when Massa at back and had to work up to 5th :P
      And I hope I never bite anyone’s head off! :)
      But agree with you for Button today he did do very well, I won’t take that away from him.

      • Sorry Hakka

        I am no tifosi but Felipe vs Robert in Fuji 2007 in the wet shows what he can do… – also Monaco 2008 showed he can handle the wet stuff Ok…


        • The anti-rich said on 19th October 2009, 0:30

          Apart from the part in that video where Felipe blatantly forces Robert off at the hairpin…
          …and the part when he does it again into the right hander…
          …and the part where he finally takes Rob by using the tarmac run-off which, technically, isn’t allowed in the regs…

          …but yeah, apart from that I completely agree with you! :P

          In all fairness, though, I never really rated Felipe untill last year when he started beating his World Champion team-mate every race weekend. He really proved myself and the other doubters wrong.

      • Hakka said on 19th October 2009, 6:50

        Hehe. I was just kidding. You’re one of the most balanced and level-headed participants on this site. I for one am glad you participate actively.

        Anyway, I don’t question Massa’s skill in general or even in the wet (where he’s actually quite reasonable but has an undeserved reputation of being bad) – but he has a singularly bad habit of holding the racing line even while being aware that there’s a car right next to him. This is especially true if the car is from what he considers to be a lower-tier team. He invariably ends up banging them off the track. Of course, some might consider that as aggression and admire him for it – I think it’s very, very poor racing.

        I’m sure there are a couple of exception, but it would be better if he made these exceptions more often.

        • Steph90 said on 19th October 2009, 10:03

          I do think he can be clumsy, a bit too aggressive and inconsistent which are his biggest flaws, maybe it depends on his emotions/mentality at the time. So I do agree with that Hakka but I think he has improved, he is still youngish (I know most of the drivers are practically in nappies) but he may need more time to mature.

  6. Richard Evans said on 18th October 2009, 19:43

    Well done button, fully deserved!

  7. Luigismen said on 18th October 2009, 19:44

    what was the odd that a driver with the car number 22 (last team numbers) wins the WDC 2 years in a row!

  8. Shagrathian said on 18th October 2009, 19:57

    What a fantastic performance! Guy’s got balls and shows it to the whole world today. Well done, Jenson! Two British world champions in a row which is fantastic either.

  9. StrFerrari4Ever said on 18th October 2009, 19:58

    Congratz to Jenson even if he wasn’t my ideal choice for WDC but hey he took the opportunity with both hands.
    2010 will be much tougher for him to defend the title as Ferrari & Mclaren get back to the front aswell as the more determined Red Bull’s bright times for F1 people!

  10. Let me get this straight. He scored few points last year, winds more races than anyone else this year, with a team with a cut staff… and he is a mediocre champion. Maybe the Ferrari hat is cutting off the circulation to your brain.

    Button deserves it. He was the best driver this year. PERIOD!

    • Harv's said on 18th October 2009, 22:40

      best driver of the year? Probably not. Best car? Yes. Better than team mate? Yes. Will he deffend his title or win another championship? Probably not, (without another major rule change),

      • if he wasn’t the best driver, who was? i can’t think of anyone else who pulled out the consistency of button. he didn’t necessarily remain at the top for the whole season but he didn’t make any mistakes that i can remember. a thoroughly deserving world champion. congratulations Jenson!

        • Harv's said on 19th October 2009, 1:37

          Ok we all know Button is no Alonso or Hamilton. but when you have the best car it is alot easier t think that the driver is driving the best out of the feild. If everyone was in the same car i bet Bitton would not be on to.

          Congrats to Jenson. However i did not like his attitude after the race. In the press room when he arrived, no1 was there and he yelled “where the hell is everyone! IM F*****G WORLD CHAMPION!”

          • NDINYO said on 19th October 2009, 12:05

            i would argue that if the FIA hadn’t been so obviously biased against McLaren, Lewis would have won the 2008 crown just as easily

  11. Congratulations to Jenson. He deserved and his driving today was a worth champion driving…

  12. Journeyer (@journeyer) said on 18th October 2009, 20:09

    Ultimately, even if Button didn’t drive the way he did today, he’d probably still have clinched the title.

    But the way he drove today was a true champion’s drive – and it reminded everyone why he is NOW the 2009 World Champion. :)

    BTW, does anyone know the song/score the Beeb used for the Jenson/Brawn Champions Montage?

  13. He drove like a champion today. However, I reckon that if he had tangled with Grosjean, Kobayashi or Kovalainen in one of his many battles as he easily could have then the condemnation would have been pitched. Anyway, well done and congratulations to him and R. Brawn.

    Barrichello has to imagine himself cursed. How on earth did he drop 15-20 seconds on Webber in one stint? And then the flat to finish him off. He must be crushed.

    Most amazing was Lewis’s race. If had managed to get around BAR in the second stint maybe he could have caught Kubica. Whitmarsh gets a gold star for strategy—for choosing the right set up strategy yesterday and nailing the race strategy today.

  14. three4three said on 18th October 2009, 20:18

    A fantastic race and massive congratulations to Jenson Button, an unquestionably deserved Championship win following a truly championship drive from Jenson! I was rooting for Barrichello but Jenson finally put an end to all the nay sayers and doubters, good on him.

    That was surely the best race of the season. More of these please. :)

  15. TomD11 said on 18th October 2009, 21:06

    A British driver in a Mercedes-powered car 22 wins the WDC by finishing 5th in Brazil, beating a title rival from Sao Paulo who had been number 2 to Michael Schumacher at Ferrari for a number of years. Spooky.

    • What a fantastic race! What a fantastic season! Not in all the time I have been watching has there been such a mix up of teams’ strengths and weaknesses changing race by race. Fantastic stuff.
      Now we get get to see a race with all the pressure off, on an untried track, with twilight racing and the most dangerous pit exit ever. What a treat. Should be mental!

    • Hallard said on 19th October 2009, 6:10

      I was gonna point that out. You beat me to the punch!

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