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. 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.

  2. 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!

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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!

  6. Hamiltonforever said on 18th October 2009, 21:46

    Jenson Button???Who the f***ck is him???
    Lewis Hamilton for life!!

  7. toncho said on 18th October 2009, 21:46

    Did you catched JB asking his team to complain to Charlie Whiting about Kobayashi’s driving?? Outrageous!!

    As already mentioned he seems like a nice chap but this year’s title is a joke after the FIA authorised the double diffusor. Bring the 2010 on!!

    • Pointer said on 18th October 2009, 23:47

      To be fair, did you see his driving?! I’m sure Nakajima would like to have a few words with him.

      That said, a drive like that on an F1 debut shows signs of someone who could go a long way in this sport.

    • bernification said on 19th October 2009, 3:49

      I’m suprised Kobayashi didn’t get a drive through or black flag.
      Reminded me of a certain Germans less than safe driving.

  8. Bartholomew said on 18th October 2009, 21:46

    Congratulations to Button ! after many years toiling in less than top cars, he had his opportunity and took it.
    He was patient and polite all those years when results were not good, and now gets his reward.

  9. AJ Ball said on 18th October 2009, 21:47

    Good on JB, he took a few risks today. So it’s ‘only’ fifth, but it gets the job done.
    And I liked Vettel copying Senna in ’93 going round the outside at Ferra Dura.

  10. Salty said on 18th October 2009, 21:54

    Great job by Button all season. When the car was top dog, he took the wins with dominating performances, his smooth Prost-like style surprising many, including Ross Brawn himself. As the rest of the field started reeling in the Brawn cars, Jenson kept his car in the points while his main title contenders stumbled over their own feet.

    Doubtless with the words of some of his recent detractors ringing in his ears, Button underlined his championship winning performance this weekend, with some fearless overtaking (remember that thing that can happen on the track) on Nakajima, Grosjean, Kobayashi and Buemi.

    Worthy champion this season. Raising my glass to Jenson Button – great season with the right outcome, and not an FiA official in sight. Well done sir.

  11. Congratulations to Button and Brawn. What an exciting decider today, once again.

  12. Dennis said on 18th October 2009, 22:04

    Congratulations to Jenson Button! If you win 6 out of 7 races you deserve to win, period. Beside, he also scored a second place and he drove absolutely brilliant today! All this talk about the Brawn Gp car being the best there is in the beginning of the season os of course true, but Button didn’t make any mistakes then and he really trashed the competition. It’s not his fault the entire field got so supercompetative. This year we have had the first 15 or so drivers within a second! Anyone can win a race on any given day now. This worked in his advantage because Vettel or Barrichello weren’t able to consistently score points because the Ferrari’s and McClaren’s got back on their feet again (well, at least one driver of both teams). Button and Brawn totally deserve the titels they clinched!

    I’m really looking forward to 2010 too! In my view we’ve got a lot of drivers there who can become champion. Alonso in the Ferrari (most likely), Lewis Hamilton in the McClaren (he’s doing well now too), Sebastian Vettel in the Red Bull and Kimi Raikkonen wherever the …. he drives are the main contendors IMO. The other contendors would be Button/Rosberg in Brawn Gp (if they keep it up), Webber and Massa. I’m very curious to the new stars that appear too. Kobayashi did great today, he seems like a fighter. Hülkenberg’s arrival will be spectacular. In short: it’s time for some more great contendors beside the big 3! (Alonso, Hamilton, Raikkonen)

  13. Good job today for Jenson. Just like its supposed to work. Most total points wins the Championship. That is, consistency wins the Championship. He and Brawn demonstrated it all year. Button had a great early drive today, very, very aggressive. It seemed like once he got to where he needed to be in order to secure the Championship he held station. Smart driving. Did what he had to. Barrichello had an amazing qualifying run in the rain too. He is a great driver and must be congratulated as such. Quite a sport that after end of season charge from Ruebens he will be let go at seasons end. Must always look ahead I guess. Drive of the day probably goes to Hamilton from where he started to wind up 3rd. Admittedly the accidents etc. helped. World Champion lightweight boxing award shuld go to Trulli for his accosting of Sutil. I really didn’t se what Sutil did that was so wrong. Jarno was trying a pass that seemed it could never work. Kimi gets meritorious mention also for his drive through the firery mist coming out of Kovi’s refueling hose. If Kovi had any chance to stay at McLaren it most certainly is gone now. Storming drive from Webber and Vettel as well. Easy to forget about Webber’s win with all the other commotion! Congrats to Jenson. He will be a good Champion. Nice to his Dad hugging him after the race.

  14. gwenouille said on 18th October 2009, 22:19

    I still can’t believe this sterile “is JB a worthy champion ?” debate is still going on…
    Have we seen the same race ?

    His race today was awesome (as Webbers Hams and Vettels too), he’s been consistent all season, scored more wins than anyone else… Surely he doesn’t deserve the title, logical, huh ?

    Just imagine: a rookie scores 6 wins in 7 races, manages to score points after that, drive a wonderful Interlagos race to get the title. Would you feel he doesn’t deserve it ? No.

    The problem is that JB has spent too many years in bad teams, and thus got the “looser” sticker in some peoples’s mind. It is for them unbearable to admit that this man now sits in a wonderful car and turns things around. In a way that means that the car is of uttmost importance, relativising their own past “hero”‘s achievment: “man, MS must have been helped by the quality of its car”.

    Well done JB, Barrichello, Brawn, RBR, etc…

  15. I’m not Button’s greatest fan, and I do believe he’s had quite a lot of luck this year, and also a much better car. But out of the 4 title contenders, he was able to capitalise in the beginning of the season, and it was due to silly mistakes from the others that he was able to keep his lead while scoring the small points.

    I don’t believe he is part of the “elite” drivers with Raikkonen, Alonso, Hamilton, Massa and potentially Kubica/Vettel. In fact I don’t believe he is even the best of the rest, I think Heidfeld, Rosberg etc are better than him, but for this season out of the 4 contenders, he definately deserved it the most.

    If the next grand prix wasn’t at a new track, I wouldn’t bother watching and just read the results for who’s got 5th in the WDC and who has got 3rd in the WCC, as the racing has been rubbish this year and the titles have been decided. Roll on 2010!

    By the way I just hope this means that Rosberg/Barrichello swap can be announced now.

  16. Oh yeah…Kobayashi gets the gold star for one of the drives of the day. Nothin’ to this F1 stuff huh? :-) Hope we get to se more of this guy next year!

  17. Well done Jenson and well done Keith for another fine article :)

    Here at the Badger’s Sett we reckon the race was “Braziliant” http://www.f1badger.com/2009/10/braziliant/

  18. Oh yeah….Kobyashi gets the gold star for one of the drives of the day today. Nothin’ to this F1 stuff, huh! :-) Hope to see more of this guy next year!

    • Nitpicker said on 18th October 2009, 23:27

      I’m sure Nakajima would like to pin it on his chest personally…

    • John H said on 19th October 2009, 3:25

      This guy could have seriously hurt Nakajima with his double weaving antics, so no not one of the drives of the day. One of the brainless drives of the day.

      Well done Button. I remember watching him qualify 6th at a wet Silverstone in 2000 and rememeber thinking he wasn’t too bad.

  19. Button on the button;

    Jenson was pinning for a front row start but the weather switched to rain, which unbuttoned his qualifying chances. Button could only clasp onto 14th on the grid. Ultimatum time when the red led lights switched off and the race started Buttons identify shone though and he zipped though the field and shaved past his rivals his supreme brawn car. His racing was muscular and his Brawn racing car was strong, full of energy and clout.

    But the Curious Case of Jenson Button’s second half of the season continued as he only finished 5th, but it was enough to sew up the driver’s title and button down his place in history books.

    ok, i’m done. Any I missed?

  20. Chalky said on 18th October 2009, 22:45

    Well done Jenson. Great drive and worthy champion.
    I’m so happy. :)

    2nd season in a row I’ve had to watch the deciding race on my “generic hard drive recording system”. Thank goodness for technology.

    • Nitpicker said on 18th October 2009, 23:25

      Thank goodness for technology.

      Great unless the programme runs longer and the recording misses the last half hour. I say Thank goodness for iPlayer!

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