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

    Another coincidence, both had the number 22 on their cars…

  2. Richard C said on 18th October 2009, 21:07

    This has been a truly great season as ALL teams have at various times been capable of a podium and the same teams potential candidates for failing to get to Q2 at other times. Not to mention Briatore, Mosley and other off track diversions.

    When we went to Silverstone it looked like the tide was going Red Bulls way, McLaren looked very lacklustre and Force India would never be competitive. A worrying sign though there was one driver today who should not have been out there – Kobayashi has a super licence ?? Incredible.

  3. Mike "the bike" Schumacher said on 18th October 2009, 21:07

    True champions drive by Button, fantastic overtaking, very worthy champion.

  4. Alex Cooper said on 18th October 2009, 21:12

    I too was seriously impressed with Jenson’s driving today, and the Brawn story is just a fairytale.

    I’m surprised at the Villeneuve bashing though. Don’t let his previous attitude and the fact that he made a great car only look good in 1997; he is still a fantastically gifted driver who, like his old man, entertains with his driving talent.

  5. All this talk of undeserrving stems from the last 3 seasons before, If Hamilton, Raikkonen or Alonso, posted Butoons second half season results, none of them would have been WDC.

    I’m no Hamilton Nuthugger but some could argue the FIA were tryign to steal the title from him last year. And Alonso drove ridiculously to take the title from Ferrari.

    But what I found most interesting was JB himself saying “today’s drive deserved the championship” makes me think he believes his accomplishments up til then were not enough.

    Anyway fairplay to JB,Ross and co, World Champions, not their fault they were not challenged better by the others.

    • AJ Ball said on 18th October 2009, 22:06

      MarK Hughes on BBC.com sums it up about ‘preconceptions’ ie: “he can’t be deserving this year because he was rubbish last year”
      Well JB was pretty good today.

  6. Well done Button and many many congratulations.Despite my cynicism about the his route to the championship, i find myself happy that he, rather than the fony Barrichello, who has come out on top, i love the pictures of him and his dad; john must be so proud and he should be, he must have scarificed much to get his boy in F1; with a little help from Sir Frank of course.
    Jeneson is not the best driver out there, but he kept his head when the chance came his way, made less mistakes than his contenders and came out on top.
    For those of us who have followed F1 for more thna 10 years, we know what Barrichello is made of, despite the e-spin; he’s an over hyped journey man there because of his family’s money and not even in the same league as Masssa. But i guess “..he who pays the piper calls the tune…”

    Well done Jenson, the World Championship stays in England for another year; heres for the next…i have my fingres crossed for a Lewis/Jenson battle down to the wire next season………

    • That would be great to see them battle, but with equal equipment, Button loses to Hamilton. JB is a second tier driver, which is nothing to be ashamed of in F1, as they are the world’s best.

  7. Sharon said on 18th October 2009, 21:25

    Congratulations JB and Brawn GP. What a fighting performance and some truly exceptional overtaking moves – and all season, not just today. Two very well deserved championships. Those who continue to describe JB as a mediocre driver and act like this is a dark day in the history of F1 will probably continue to do so regardless of this excellent article in the Telegraph and Mark Hughes well informed piece on the BBC website, but that’s no surprise.

    I am disappointed for Rubens that he couldn’t at least get on the podium in his home race, he really does have dismal luck there, and my ideal result would have been to see RB finally win his home race with Button about half a second behind to clinch the title. But I am not going to complain about by far the most exciting race of the year, Button and Brawn as deserving champions, and also a Webber victory, the down to earth Aussie is like a breath of fresh air in F1.

    Days like today are the reason I have been an F1 fan for 25 years :)

  8. Well done to all at Brawn GP – and especially to Jenson – he had to start being aggresive to win the championship but he was and it worked and paid off only thing such a shame for Rubens – whether he has the chance to ever be in a competitive car and lead his home GP – it would be great but the way things are shaping up – it wont happen and not to win your own home race must hurt – again well done all at brawn gp

  9. Random Chimp said on 18th October 2009, 21:34

    Button ur a G, for sure.

  10. Scott Joslin said on 18th October 2009, 21:35

    Congratulation Jenson – he did really well today! He had me slightly questioning his composure in the middle part of the season, but he did it in the end.

    Happily he proved he can be a real racer!

    My thoughts go to Rubens, he is a great guy and good driver.

  11. Finally, the champions’ drive to the title. He didn’t have to, but in the odd way things go about, only a few hours after I say (on here) that every “what if/he was lucky” scenario had been levelled by yesterday’s qualifying, Jenson proved to me that he deserved to win the title.

    Well done Jenson, and bring on 2010!

    On another note, that was a good race, with great drives in abundance.

  12. Finally, the champions’ drive to the title. He didn’t have to, but in the odd way things go about, only a few hours after I say (on here) that every “what if/he was lucky” scenario had been levelled by yesterday’s qualifying, Jenson proved to me that he deserved to win the title.

    Well done Jenson, and bring on 2010!

  13. gazzap said on 18th October 2009, 21:40

    What a brilliant race and I am so so very pleased tonight. Button drove a race of champions today, no question.
    Overtaking wise, he was the THE best driver this season. Vettel is nowhere near that level yet.

    When the car was not with Button he was still picking up good points. he didn’t throw a wobbly at any point. he always remained calm.

    Look at Vettel’s ridiculous childish behaviour and the way he lost it yesterday. no class.
    Look at the way Barrichello blamed his own team a couple of times earlier in the season. also totally unprofessional.

    Button was consistent, did more overtaking than anyone and was professional. he is also damn quick, but people like to think about his previous seasons when he driven a dog of a car. people forget he came third in the championship a few years ago.

    also pleased for Ross Brawn, he deserves a hell of a lot of credit for leading that team to victory.

    • Harv's said on 18th October 2009, 22:49

      no he didnt, hamilton made more passes in the first race then button made in the whole season, almost. Add up hamiltons passes in brazil and austraila and its easily more than button

      • ulfuls said on 19th October 2009, 1:30

        Amazing what KERS can do, isn’t it?

        • Harv's said on 19th October 2009, 1:42

          yes it is, but still nobody uses it!

          I wonder why that would be if it was so great! remember first you have to catch someone to pass them, and after you pass them then you have to pull away from them to pass the next guy, so its not all kers.

          the guys on BBC’s commentry team counted buttons passes this season at so far its at 10

  14. gazzap said on 18th October 2009, 21:42

    What a brilliant race and I am so so very pleased tonight. Button drove a race of champions today, no question.
    Overtaking wise, he was the THE best driver this season. Vettel is nowhere near that level yet.

    When the car was not with Button he was still picking up good points. he didn’t throw a wobbly at any point. he always remained calm.

    Look at Vettel’s ridiculous childish behaviour and the way he lost it yesterday. no class.
    Look at the way Barrichello blamed his own team a couple of times earlier in the season. also totally unprofessional.

    Button was consistent, did more overtaking than anyone and was professional. he is also very quick, but people like to think about his previous seasons when he driven a dog of a car. people forget he came third in the championship a few years ago.

    also pleased for Ross Brawn, he deserves a real lot of credit for leading that team to victory.

  15. The Limit said on 18th October 2009, 21:45

    When we look back on Jenson Button’s career in years to come, his biggest attribute has been loyalty. For six years he has remained loyal to what, in all but name, is the same team.
    That same team has morphed from BAR to Honda and now to Brawn Gp, and for all that time, Button remained loyal.
    Back in 2005, when he turned down the opportunity to drive for Williams, thus going against an already signed contract, many thought the move as crazy.
    He had yet, after half a decade of trying, to win a grands prix. During the dark times of 2007 and 2008, those doubters became even more vocal, as Honda started to fall apart along with what appeared to be Button’s career.
    In the last two years, many people on blogs like this one have criticised the rise of Lewis Hamilton. Many, quite rightly, pointed out that Hamilton’s success in 2008 was due to his having a championship winning car from the get-go.
    There was no Nigel Mansell style climb to the summit, pitted with terrible disappointments, just one huge jump from GP2 champion to F1 championship contender and eventual champion.
    Button, for large parts of his career, has driven terrible F1 machines. How he must have felt, seeing Fernando Alonso win back to back championships in a team he had once graced. To have seen Montoya take his previous team Williams to nine gp wins, whilst he struggled in the doldrums.
    Yet in 2009, he took his one chance, and won! Yes, the second half of the season was always going to be tougher than the opening races. Brawn Gp’s advantage running the double difuser had been nullified by their competition, and McLaren and Ferrari were never going to go down without some kind of fight.
    The compelling facts are that during this time, the likes of Mark Webber, Vettel, and Barrichello failed to make the most of Button’s ‘lean period’. They failed to gain the points required to turn the tables, and that is purely down to them and their teams. Button, today especially, displayed consistency and speed, without taking any stupid chances.
    A very professional performance.

    • Someone who agrees with The Limit said on 19th October 2009, 1:00

      When we look back on Jenson Button’s career in years to come, his biggest attribute has been loyalty. For six years he has remained loyal to what, in all but name, is the same team…[more intelligent comments]…Yet in 2009, he took his one chance, and won!

      This. A thousand times this.

      Whether you like it or not the fact is that F1 is a team sport that is as much (or more so) about the car and team as it is about the performance of the driver. The fact is that Brawn (Honda) constructed a car that was the fastest of the entire field – at least in the first half of the season. Sure, Honda had been working on this new car a long time in advance in a hope of taking advantage of the new regs, but there was nothing that was preventing any of the other teams from doing exactly the same thing. Even the diffuser issue, as has been pointed out above, was by no means an underhand way of winning an advantage through exploiting a loophole in the technical regs as Ross himself had highlighted this very issue to everyone beforehand, and yet the teams still did nothing about it.

      Jense didn’t suddenly turn into this race-dominating behemoth overnight and neither did Brawn (Honda), but he is, in my view, worthy of being this year’s World Drivers Champion and being recognised in history as being part of that elite club because he had the opportunity and he took it. You could have the fastest car in a race by any margin – but you still have to win it. When the Brawn was the best car, HE won those 6 races – Rubens didn’t. Rubens, as much as I like him and wanted him to be more sucessful this year, had the same opportunity but didn’t do the job, whereas his mate Jense did. Ultimately, he couldn’t blame anyone else for it.

      I actually begin to really dislike Jenson during the time of BAR’s good form because of all the hype ITV and the British media gave him that I, personally, felt wasn’t justified. He just happened to be the one British driver most likely to have a chance of winning, so he became our ‘golden boy’ for that one reason – which put me off him a bit, although I probably had no legitimate reason for it.
      So sure, there’s other drivers who I feel may be ‘better’ or who I prefer as characters but even I have to recognise the efforts that he and the team have made and the major achievements that they’ve accomplished. I am a bit disappointed that the on-track action hasn’t been as epic as I imagined it would’ve been this year but I don’t blame Button or Brawn for that and I really can’t wait for March to roll round so I can head down to Melbourne and start it all over again (Bahrain can GTFO).

      Congratulations Jense and BrawnGP – you’ve earned it!

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