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.
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
- Webber wins in style as Button races to title (Brazilian Grand Prix race report)
- Brazilian Grand Prix in pictures
- Brawn win 2009 F1 constructors’ title
- Brazilian Grand Prix stats & facts
- Brazilian Grand Prix fastest laps analysis
- Brazilian Grand Prix – rate the race
- Championship standings after Brazil
- Brazilian Grand Prix result