John Button, father of Jenson, dies aged 70

2014 F1 season

John Button, Jenson Button, Interlagos, 2009John Button, father of 2009 world champion Jenson, has died at the age of 70.

Button competed in rallycross events in the seventies before turning his attention to his son’s racing ambitions. He set up a company to build karting engines while Jenson began his ascent of the motor racing ladder.

The younger Button had only been out of karts for two years when he was able to tell his father “Dad, I’m a Formula One driver,” after gaining a surprise promotion to the top flight with Williams.

John Button remained at his son’s side through the highs and lows of his F1 career which culminated in his 2009 world championship triumph and subsequent move to McLaren.

McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh joined many Formula One figures paying tribute to him: “In my long Formula One career, I’ve encountered many drivers’ fathers, but I think it’s safe to say that John was perhaps more devoted to his son than any of them.”

“Ever since Jenson was a boy, racing go-karts, his dad has been at his side, helping him, supporting him, finding the money for the next race.”

“As Jenson grew older, and continued to win in cars, still John was always there, his most steadfast helper and supporter.”

“He was not only a great dad, but also a lovely man, and he’ll be enormously missed by Jenson, of course, by all at McLaren, and indeed by the Formula One community at large,” added Whitmarsh.

“I’m sure that everyone at McLaren, and indeed everyone in Formula One, will join me in sending our heartfelt condolences to Jenson, to the Button family, and to their many friends.”

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54 comments on John Button, father of Jenson, dies aged 70

  1. Scottie (@scottie) said on 13th January 2014, 20:52

    Wow, he was so young too, for a dead! very sad indeed :(

  2. Scottie (@scottie) said on 13th January 2014, 20:52

    Wow, he was so young too, for a dad! very sad indeed :(

  3. Jan (@yancheelaa) said on 13th January 2014, 20:53

    Terrible news…rest in peace and condolences to the family… very very sad.sending prayers

  4. Pink Peril (@pink-peril) said on 13th January 2014, 21:02

    Very sad news and so unexpcted. My thoughts are with the Button family.

  5. Sergey Petrov said on 13th January 2014, 21:27

    That comes as sad surprise:( But that moment comes in every man’s life and I believe it will make Jenson even stronger, even more resolved! Strength to Jenson!!!

  6. Gdon (@gdon) said on 13th January 2014, 22:06

    RIP John Button. See you on the other side.

  7. gwenouille (@gwenouille) said on 13th January 2014, 22:15

    Terrible news, really.
    My thoughts are with Jenson and his family.

  8. stefano (@alfa145) said on 13th January 2014, 22:31

    no way…that’s so sad

  9. Diego (@ironcito) said on 13th January 2014, 22:35

    At least it happened now. It gives Jenson more time to spend with his family, take care of everything, mourn in peace. Better than having it happen on a Friday before a race.

  10. Mickrock (@mickrock) said on 13th January 2014, 23:18

    Gonna miss seeing him at the races. A good egg all around. Condolences to the family.

  11. Paul (@frankjaeger) said on 13th January 2014, 23:36

    Tragic news, my thoughts go out to Jenson and his family

  12. Hairs (@hairs) said on 13th January 2014, 23:37

    It’s amazing to look through the reactions, John Button always seemed on tv to be a genuine, easygoing, likable man. I remember Jenson speaking about him with pride, and that seems to shine through too: a man to be proud of knowing. A rare thing in a cutthroat sport.

  13. muz (@murray1964) said on 14th January 2014, 1:06

    condolences to Jenson and his family, very sad news.

  14. electrolite (@electrolite) said on 14th January 2014, 1:14

    The brief shots of this man on the telly would always bring a smile to my face. Really saddening news.

  15. Lin1876 (@lin1876) said on 14th January 2014, 1:27

    Very sad news. Even as an outsider looking in, it was clear that John Button was a great personality in the pitlane who loved his racing in every way and supported Jenson superbly. Condolences to the Button family.

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