John Button, Jenson Button, Interlagos, 2009

John Button, father of Jenson, dies aged 70

2014 F1 seasonPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

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”

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

  2. 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.

  3. condolences to Jenson and his family, very sad news.

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

  5. 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.

  6. I usually hate it when the tv cameras cut to the wags and family members of the drivers during the races, but I never minded it when the cameras focused on John Button. In my mind he was constantly there with a cheeky grin and a wave to those watching. You would see him on F1 programmes often in the background walking about the paddock, and he always looked like he was having a blast. He will be missed by this F1Fanatic, as he brought a lot of humour and light to what can often be an overly serious and dour place – the F1 paddock.

    I can’t imagine the loss and pain Jenson and the Button family must feel, but my heart goes out to them. Jenson is a true gentleman of F1, I suspect he owes a lot of that to his dad.

  7. Wow that’s sad. He was a nice guy.

  8. My deepest condolences to JB and his Family

  9. My deepest condolences to you and your family JB. I went through the same thing about 18 months ago, nothing can prepare you for it, thinking of you.

  10. So sad news, I will really miss him and his pink shirts in the paddock. My deepest condolences to his family and friends.

  11. A very sad news, my thoughts are with Jenson and his family, i really liked Joe Button he is a very nice guy always smiling RIP Joe

  12. Very sad,he was always at the races supporting his son and a real character,I’ll always remember his reaction when Jenson won the world championship,amazing.He will be missed.RIP.
    My thoughts to JB and his family.

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