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. Mark Hitchcock said on 19th October 2009, 3:12

    Jenson won when he had the best car and consistently got points when he no longer had the best car.
    Exactly how almost every other driver won the championship in recent years.
    And exactly what his rivals failed to do.

    If you’re gonna say that it was the car that won the championship then you can say that about every other recent champion as well.
    They all had the best car most of the time and they made use of it when it mattered. Just like Button did.

  2. John H said on 19th October 2009, 3:30

    Hamtilton now moves into 5th in the drivers. Red Bulls and Brawns aside, this is the best of the rest & I hope this isn’t overlooked…. same goes for Kimi.

    If it was Alonso who did this, we’d all be saying yet again what a ‘complete’ driver he is and how he’s the best ‘pound for pound’ driver on the grid. Just hope Hamilton gets due credit for this season.

  3. Congrats to Jenson- perhaps not my favorite driver, but a very good season and a great drive today to take the title. I suppose the whole thing has a “feel good” style to it, so I guess it fits well.

    Thanks for the title wins by nations Keith- I suppose the res tof us have quite a ways to go to catch you Brits ;)

  4. al_amana said on 19th October 2009, 4:55

    Well at least the title and the season be over over and we can come back next season with a more interesting season. Of course Jenson deserves the series win, so congrats. That said, at the end of his career not many will remember Jenson Button.
    So once again. Thank God this season is all but over!!!!!

  5. mclarenFTW said on 19th October 2009, 5:09

    most points in a season=world champion, no matter how snazzily he looked over the season, if you get more points than anyone, your world champion, i don’t get the complaints :/ and im not that fond of button either

  6. McPhil said on 19th October 2009, 6:31

    Congrats to Button and Brawn.

    I hope that next year McLaren and Lewis can be in the mix aswell…

  7. Jenson went out with the intention of winning the championship at Brazil despite being 14th on the grid – no damage limitations racing here. For me this was one of Jenson’s best races, if not his best race.

    But a great race today, let down by Trulli’s tantrum and an idiot throwing nuts at Hamilton during a post-race interview.

  8. GeeMac said on 19th October 2009, 8:02

    Button was superb, we all hoped for a champions drive and he delivered. Of the three title contenders only Jenson’s drive was worthy of world champion status. You could hear in his radio transmission after he passed Kobayashi that he truly wanted to WIN the title in Brazil, and that’s exactly what he did. Vettel may have climbed more places during the course of the race, but he did it relatively easily thanks to the massive pace of the Red Bull this weekend. Rubens looked good in the early stages, but just couldn’t fight through the traffic after his first stop, faded badly, and then blamed the car (Radio transmission again “What’s wrong with the car?”). It was a very disappointing performance from Rubens.

    Jenson gave us a gutsy champions drive, and is a great world champion. Well done Jenson!

    I can’t congratulate Ross Brawn and Nick Fry enough. They rescued a team and made them world champions, it was a fantastic effort!

  9. al_amana said on 19th October 2009, 8:49

    I have to agree with some of the other posters sentiments regarding the whole British grouping. I don’t think it’s fair on the other countries. I mean the don’t even speak the same language throughout Britian. If you want to play it like that then you might as well group Austria and Germany as Germania! At least they do speak the same language. I know that techincally British drivers are all issued with the same super licence, classed as British. Again I think that this analysis is unfair because it’s not a true reflection of the drivers origin. Anyway that’s what I think. Take it or leave it.

    • Okay, so it’s 9 titles to England and 5 titles Scotland.

    • Gusto said on 19th October 2009, 11:32

      The signing of the Act of the Union in 1707 between the English and Scotish Parliments led to the United Kingdom of Great Britain, but in a tounge in cheek way if your Scotish and lose your referred to as Scotish, but if you win your British.

    • Jonathan said on 19th October 2009, 19:39

      British drivers are from Britain, so their nationality is British.

      I don’t see the problem.

  10. schumi the greatest said on 19th October 2009, 8:52

    brilliant drive form jenson yesterday!

    I like alot of other people believe if he had alonso, or hamilton as a team mate, he would not have won this world tittle. But you can only beat whats in front of you and jenson has done that. Ok the 2nd half of the season has been dissapointing buit thats was down to the car aswell as jenson not getting the most out of it.

    But his drive proved that he is very talented and im pleased for him as before hamilton came on the scene he was always the driver after schumacher i was looking out for. I think jenson is 1 of the top guys in f1, i think you’ve got hamtiloton & alonso as the best 2, followed then by button, raikkonen and massa who, on their day, are near unbeatable then vettel who will get better every year.

    Some outstanding drives throughout the field, hamiltons pace on heavy fuel load was impressive, to come from 17th to 3rd was pretty special and sums up his season.

    I was pretty impressed with kobayashi too, few “dodgy” maneouvers but he didnt back down to anyone in his 1st GP.

    Looking forward to Abu Dhabi and 2010

  11. antonyob said on 19th October 2009, 9:34

    Not much to say that hasnt been said but id certainly put Jensons drive yesterday in the top 5 ive ever seen. Not quite Senna at Donnington but a spellbinding show of swashbuckling moves; reminded me a bit of Mansell in his fearless prime. In fact in someways the moves were even better than his, what they maybe lost in derring do and imagination they made up with in precision and control not to mention nerve.

    Its the circuits & drivers that need to be altered for overtaking to make a comeback not just the cars.

    Great Britian – 10 : Rest of the world – nowhere.

  12. rampante said on 19th October 2009, 10:51

    Well done Button, you get the points and you get the title. I do struggle with the attitude of some on this site. I have never been a JB fan but give the man a break. The Gazzetta dello Sport here had it as the best race of the season and a deserved title to Brawn and Button. I think some of you should take note of us Italians giving credit where it is due.

  13. Good drive from Button. Because it wasn’t as dramatic a finish as last year I wasn’t shouting as much when Button crossed the line, but here in the UK because BBC had more post race coverage than ITV had last year, even if you don’t include the F1 Forum on the red button, you got a greater sense of the Button and Brawn celebrating the championship.

  14. He is world champion, but he’s no hamilton! Cant wait to see the best drivers battle it out next year!

  15. theRoswellite said on 19th October 2009, 14:14

    Jenson showed himself to be a classy guy all year, both when winning and losing. A Champion we should all be encouraged by, his career having been the story of talent unrewarded…until yesterday.

    I’m hopeful that an improved car will let him compete for the championship again next year, certainly that is all any driver can hope for.

    Thanks Mr. Button, all year you’ve shown grace under pressure…and now, the grace of a champion.

    (kind of reminds me of one Jimmy Clark….)

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