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. fearlessferddy said on 18th October 2009, 22:48

    YYYYAAAAWWNNNNNN!!!! Glad this season is over, Roll on 2010.

  2. S Hughes said on 18th October 2009, 23:03

    It would have been lovely to see such overwhelming support for Lewis last year when he became champion. All I remember though was conspiracy theories about Glock, bemoaning the anticlimax of winning a championship by coming in only 5th, and pointing out that he never got as many wins as Massa when we all know Spa was stolen from him.

    Very sad tonight because of the negativity surrounding Hamilton, particularly in his home country, but also impressed with Lewis’ superb drive from 17th on the grid to a podium third. I’m afraid I cannot forget the outpouring of nastiness directed at Lewis last year, and how much of a contrast it is to the support that Button gets.

  3. Nitpicker said on 18th October 2009, 23:24

    Congratulations to Jenson and everyone else at Brawn GP past and present, you’re world champions!

    Now how about a one-two at Abu Dhabi…?

  4. BennyM said on 18th October 2009, 23:51

    Congratulations Button.
    He may not have been fastest on track but he overtook when needed, just like all season. (Better than waiting for clear air to put in fast laps Vet)

    I also like that the title was decided in Brazil, it just wouldn’t seem right for Abu Dhabi to steal Brazil’s thunder because of money (and building constraints)

    A worthy champion in my eyes.

  5. James said on 18th October 2009, 23:53

    Thoroughly, 100%, indefinitely, unarguably deserved.

    Why? I’ll tell you:

    – Most races won
    – Most laps lead (to this point I believe)
    – Most points
    – Made the most of a great opportunity before other cars developed and caught up
    – Most podium finishes (I believe)
    – Stayed with a team which was in danger of not even existing
    – FIRST non-mclaren/ferrari driver since JV in 1997. 12 long seasons.
    – Most points finishes
    – Least number of retirements this season (none through his own fault).

    How many drivers have done that this season? That’s right none. His other competitors didnt do half of that, none showed consistency like Button did.

    People CANNOT say Button didn’t deserve the title. Ok, he isnt a Schumacher, an Alonso, a Raikkonen or a Hamilton, BUT he put in 100% throughout the year.

    He deserves it without a doubt. People that think otherwise need to shut it really. Rubens moaned when it was he that couldnt do a good job. Vettel messed it up for himself by making moves that put him out of the race (particuarly Australia, 3rd would have been a brilliant start) and Mark couldnt hold it together when it counted (nor could the team).

    So I ask you, why isnt Button a worthy champion? That’s right, there isnt any reason as to why he isnt.

    One more time, JENSON BUTTON, WORLD CHAMPION 2009. Sorry folks, you’re gonna have to get used to that.

    • James said on 19th October 2009, 0:09

      Scratch that, just remembed Renault in 2005 and 2006. Point still stands though, some different than “the usual suspects”

  6. Simone said on 18th October 2009, 23:56

    I’m stunned – by the comments here saying that Jenson is the best driver and the best overtaker. Nope Jenson (in a much better car) overtook the newest most inexperienced drivers. Have we seen him dogfight this season – with Alonso? with Lewis? with Kimi? no.

    Not the best driver out there imho, he won due to Ruebens puncture – that’s down to Ruebens bad luck – not Jenson’s skills.

    • Harv's said on 19th October 2009, 1:49

      I agree with you, people saying Jenson was the best driver this season is getting out of hand! Best driver out of Rubens, Mark, Vettel, and himself, yes! But best out of the feild? i dont think so!

      dont get driver skill and talent confused with car speed! they are different things.

    • I think it was in bahrain, where he (button) overtook Lewis.

    • GeeMac said on 19th October 2009, 8:50

      That’s not true Simone, at the time of Rubens puncture Jenson had already done enough to win. And it was only a matter of time before Lewis passed Rubens.

  7. Simone said on 18th October 2009, 23:57

    ps – James I don’t think Jenson did have the most laps lead / fastest laps this season.

  8. Just curious, is ‘Britain’ a country? Or is it like saying North America is a country?

    • manatcna said on 19th October 2009, 0:18

      No, England, Scotland and Wales make up Great Britain.

      Great Britain and Northern Ireland make up the United Kingdom.

      • Antifia said on 19th October 2009, 10:08

        Poor Northern Ireland…since button is referred to as the 10th Brit to win it (not as the 10th driver from the UK), they don’t get to share on the spoils.

  9. sato113 said on 19th October 2009, 0:16

    congrats Button, u really are hard to beat! ;)

  10. William Wilgus said on 19th October 2009, 0:55

    If it hadn’t been for Brawn’s huge superiority at the beginning of this season, Button wouldn’t have even been close. By rights, they should spell the 2009 F1 Champion’s name as “Brawn” on the trophy, not “Button”.

    • Musso's Cat said on 19th October 2009, 9:16

      Probably one of the most ridiculous comments I’ve ever seen on this site…

    • S Hughes said on 19th October 2009, 9:58

      Totally agree.

    • David A said on 19th October 2009, 14:23

      Really William, you are simply a hater, and for no good reason. Give Button a break.

      • William Wilgus said on 20th October 2009, 1:32

        No, though I admit I’m not a Button fan. As far as drivers go, I really didn’t see that anyone stood out enough throughout the entire season to be an actual champion. In the first several races, Button was superior to Barrichello, but in the second half of the season it was the other way around. In reality, who wins a race is largely determined by the capabilities of the car they’re driving; at least 75%. In Button’s case, I’d judge it to have been 90%. Don’t forget that Button never won a race until his 101st, and then only because those who were leading him dropped out.

        I can, of course, agree that Brawn deserved the manufacturer’s championship; no other manufacturer came close.

        • David A said on 20th October 2009, 16:14

          Ok, that’s fair enough, now you’ve explained your point. I don’t agree entirely, even not being a Button fan myself, but fair enough.

  11. F1Fan said on 19th October 2009, 0:58

    I think it’s a shame Button won the WDC the way he did, but he is the champion. He owes 90% of the success to the car and the team’s preferential treatment to him over Rubens (as just one example recall Rubens’s sacrificed race earlier this year and subsequent threat to quit the team and F1 even, not to say anything about the fact that the car was first tailored to Button’s liking and only caught up to Rubens almost midway through the season). I said right from the Australian GP that this team is all about Button being the preferred driver and that was always true.

    Having said all of the above, the rules are the rules, Brawn got it right way before everyone else, they walked the first part of the season and then Button crawled to the finish line having not won a single race in the last 9 and in fact gotten on the podium only once.

    His place finishes (and not) over this span were 6,5,7,7,DNF, 2,5,8 & 5, That’s a grand total of 28 points in 9 races, or an average of 3 pts per race.

    The car deserves the title, Button does not.

    • …and if the results had been the other way around, with 1, 1, 1, 1, 2, 1, you’d be toasting his success and grit at pulling a mediocre car up from the doldrums.

      It doesn’t matter what order you score the points in – are you even aware of the bizarreness of cherry-picking his worst races, and then saying he doesn’t deserve the championship because he wasn’t good in those races? LAgain – let’s pretend the first seven races were the last seven:

      “After crawling for the first part of the season, button sprinted to the finish line having failed to win only one race in the last 7 and in fact being on the podium even then.

      His place finishes over the first seven races were 1, 1, 3, 1, 1, 1, 1. That’s a grand total of 66 points in 7 races, or an average of 9.42 points.”

      Would you be saying the car deserved the title, in that case, with Rubens ‘letting it slip away’ during the last 7 races? If Rubens had pulled this championship out at the last minute, would you be saying it was the car that won, what with Rubens not winning as many races as Jenson, etc etc etc etc?

      Sometimes I wonder if the most vociferous people following the sport have any idea how racing actually *works*.

      • Musso's Cat said on 19th October 2009, 9:18

        And the plank has the audacity to call himself ‘F1Fan’…lol

        • Yes. Exactly what I was thinking.

        • F1Fan said on 19th October 2009, 15:38

          You are confused and missed the point of my post, which had more to do w/ Button’s driving ability than anything else. To restate the point: Button only won when he had a significant car advantage over everyone else, including his teammate. That’s a fact. If you can’t stomach it, that’s not my problem.

          And as far as knowing how F1 works, I have forgotten more than you ever knew about the sport. I know personally a couple of the drivers and have very good knowledge of not only the purely racing aspects of F1 but also of the off-the-field side of the sport.

          • Mussolini's Pet Cat said on 19th October 2009, 17:15

            Look, i was wrong to call you a plank, I should have called you a total plank…..

          • PeriSoft said on 21st October 2009, 2:55

            “I know personally a couple of the drivers and have very good knowledge… of the off-the-field side of the sport.”

            So does Flavio Briatore, but that hasn’t stopped -him- from being a total plank.

            If your point had merely been what you claim it is in your most recent post, you wouldn’t have said “crawled to the finish”.

            And if the car is so tailored to Button, how come that resulted in Button beating Rubens in the first half of the season, but being beaten -by- him in the second half?

            The only way your argument holds water is if you suggest that Jenson suddenly became a much worse driver in the middle of the season. That’s been known to happen, but since Rubens’ performances, overall, dropped off along with Jenson’s (6, 10, 1, 7, 1, 6, 7, 8) it seems that Jenson didn’t fall very far vs. Rubens.

            Finally, Rubens’ performances in the first part of the season were reasonable but not stellar – in a car that ‘walked the season’, he scored 2, 5, 4, 5, 2, 2, ret. In three races he scored the maximum possible assuming Button had a built-in advantage from the car; in the other four he didn’t.

            Rubens’ performances were good when the car was great, and good when the car was OK; Jenson’s were fantastic when the car was great and OK when the car was OK. All of that added up doesn’t suggest that Jenson won because of the car – it suggests that two different drivers driving the same car reacted differently to the circumstances. It doesn’t suggest a mid-season collapse by Jenson, and it doesn’t suggest a car that favored him dramatically.

            And, finally, appeal to authority (“I know F1 drivers personally!” – great, so do their caterers; so what?) is usually the last gasp of a beaten debater. Even if you’re right, pulling -that- dull old arrow out of your quiver doesn’t do wonders for your credibility.

        • F1Fan said on 19th October 2009, 17:58

          You are an idiot. Go read up on F1 first then make comments.

      • F1Fan said on 19th October 2009, 15:37

        You are confused and missed the point of my post, which had more to do w/ Button’s driving ability than anything else. To restate the point: Button only won when he had a significant car advantage over everyone else, including his teammate. That’s a fact. If you can’t stomach it, that’s not my problem.

        And as far as knowing how F1 works, I have forgotten more than you ever knew about the sport. I know personally a couple of the drivers and have very good knowledge of not only the purely racing aspects of F1 but also of the off-the-field side of the sport.

    • Accidental Mick said on 19th October 2009, 10:14

      That is completely riduculous. The car was NOT tailored to Button as, at the beggining of the season, Ross Brawn openly expresed doubts as to wether Button had the strengths to become champion.

      Button won on merit.

      • al_amana said on 19th October 2009, 10:41

        I think you’ll find that Brawn and Button admitted early in the season that the car was a perfect fit for Button and hence Ruebens struggled. I just wish I could find the video of the interview with Button and Brawn. I think it was around about the time of China?

        • Accidental Mick said on 20th October 2009, 18:03

          That is true. Button did suit the car baut that is totally different from deliberately tailoring the car towards one driver.

      • F1Fan said on 20th October 2009, 15:08

        You are completely wrong. Even James Allen posted an article to that effect earlier this year. Rubens likes a car w/ a certain type of brakes and certain break setup, he is very hard on the brakes. Button is smoother. The cars initially were tailored to Button’s style. Once Rubens got the brakes and setup he wanted, he beat Button more often than Button beat him, in both Q and race. That’s a fact.

    • Patrickl said on 19th October 2009, 19:15

      I said right from the Australian GP that this team is all about Button being the preferred driver and that was always true.

      You’re still wrong.

      Why would Brawn care who won?

      Barrichello simply drove poorly in the races where he was “surprisingly” beaten by Button. Read up on that here on this site. Keith’s excellent analysis should help you grasp that.

      Barrichello complained about the brakes and he got different brakes starting Singapore. That’s hardly something Brawn did on purpose. Again, why would they.

      Then people whine about how Barrichello was *much* better than Button in the second half of the season:

      Driver 1st half 2nd half
      BUT 64 25
      BAR 41 31
      VET 39 35
      WEB 35,5 26
      RAI 10 38
      HAM 9 40

      Barrichello scored 6 points more than Button in the second half. Big deal!

      Hamilton and Raikkonen are the “second half champions”.

      Or the “Button was driving the fastest car”. No he wasn’t. Only during the first 2 races and on Valencia and Monza. That’s only 4 races out of the entire season.

      Third race was China. Who was faster by about half a second there? And at Bahrain? Indeed Red Bull. That they lost the latter by poor strategy and driver error is not Button’s fault. Spain also a poor race from Vettel. Monaco too. Turkey too. Barrichello made (too) many mistakes during those races too.

      So sure, Button was lucky that the competition was driving poorly, but he was getting everything right in 7 races straight.

      In the latter half the car obviously was slower than the Red Bull and often also Ferrari and McLaren. Even Williams and Toyota now and then. So sure they scored less points.

      Still, Red Bull should have easily been able to capatalise on their much faster car and they didn’t.

      Only near the end (after yet another major update) did Red Bull start getting better results.

      Red Bull had the fastest car. Brawn had the second fastest car and the best driver (out of the 4 contenders)

      Button won it by a huge margin one race before the last. When was the last time that happened?

      • F1Fan said on 20th October 2009, 15:16

        Button had the better of the 2 Brawn cars for the first 6-7 races. It mostly had to do w/ break parts and break setup. The car was tailored to his driving style. They caught up w/ Rubens midway through the year, once they had the budget to do so (they received a mid-season cash infusion of 35 M Euro, some of which went towards improving Rubens’ car). Once Rubens got the car he liked he beat Button in Q and in most races. You can deny the facts all you want, but that does not change them.

        Brawn, as a team, won on merit. Button didn’t. He remains a very mediocre driver who simply lucked out once in his career. You will see that next year he will be nowhere near the top. Lewis, Alonso, Kimi, Massa, Nico, Kubica and Vettel are all far superior to Button.

  12. anakincarlos said on 19th October 2009, 1:11

    Well done WEBBER, Brilliant BUTTON.

    Cannot wait to see these two teams
    up around the top next year.

  13. Brian said on 19th October 2009, 1:17

    The next race may as well be canceled! It is going to be so boring. I’m sorry, but as far as i am concerned the season is over and everyon should just go home. No sense spending any more money. Just use it to prep for next year.

  14. Prisoner Monkeys said on 19th October 2009, 1:48

    YES!

    I’ve been waiting ten yeas for this day. I’ve also been waiting about ten hours to post that since the site was slow in the ungodly hours of the morning.

    And come on Steph, admit it – Button won and YOU LOVE IT!

  15. Platine said on 19th October 2009, 2:46

    What a wonderful race and a brilliant way for Jenson to clinch the title, he showed us what he can do when he’s not playing it safe, that move on Kobayashi was immense. Awesome first half, inclding win at Monaco, and Houdini like second half, escaping with points despite poor quali race by race, capped off by this masterful display. Sorry for Rubens, he just cant catch a break.

    Jenson Button world champion!

    Brawn GP world champion, what a story, they seem such a great bunch og people, long may their success continue.

    Is Ross Brawn the Man or what!?

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