Button's father John dies aged 70

By on Monday, January 13, 2014
McLaren Mercedes

McLaren Mercedes

John Button, father of 2009 world champion Jenson, has passed away following a suspected heart attack. He was 70.

John was found dead at his home in the South of France on Sunday.

He enjoyed success as a rallycross driver in the 1970s before becoming an integral part in supporting son Jenson into Formula 1.

John retained a presence in the Formula 1 paddock throughout Jenson's career.

'It is with great sadness and regret that I can confirm John Button passed away at his home in the South of France on Sunday', read a statement issued by Jenson Button's management team.

'John's children Jenson, Natasha, Samantha and Tanya and the rest of the family are clearly devastated and ask for their privacy to be respected during this extremely difficult time.'

McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh paid tribute to John, who he called one of the McLaren family.

"In my long Formula 1 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," said Whitmarsh.

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

"Even now, in recent years, during which Jenson has become the consummate Formula 1 world champion that he is, the most experienced driver on the Formula 1 grid in fact, still John has been ever-present, as loyal and as loving as ever, a benign and popular member of Jenson's small and intimate entourage.

"This coming season will be Jenson's fifth as a McLaren driver. I believe John has attended every grand prix over the past four seasons, and over that period he's become a unique and, I think it's fair to say, irreplaceable part of the McLaren 'family'.

"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 1 community at large. I'm sure that everyone at McLaren, and indeed everyone in Formula 1, will join me in sending our heartfelt condolences to Jenson, to the Button family, and to their many friends."


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