Jenson Button

Button studio shot#22 | Jenson Button | McLaren Mercedes

Date of Birth: 19/01/1980 | Nationality: British | Twitter: @JensonButton


Button rocketed through the junior system and tested for both Prost and Williams prior to his signing with the latter. His maiden year in 2000 coincided with BMW's re-entry into the sport and there were moments when Button demonstrated his potential, particularly in Belgium where he qualified and raced in the top five. For 2001 he moved to Benetton but he suffered a woeful season as he finished in the points just once. Benetton was re-badged as Renault for 2002 and the team made progress, although he lost his seat to Fernando Alonso for 2003.

Button transferred to BAR for 2003 and held the upper hand over team-mate Jacques Villeneuve. He impressed by leading in the wet in the USA, but he missed the race in Monaco after an enormous accident in qualifying. 2004 was his breakthrough season as BAR delivered a strong car, enabling to claim 10 podiums and a first pole position in San Marino. He finished as 'best of the rest' in the championship with third place behind only the dominant Ferrari duo.

The team regressed in 2005 and the early part of his season was scuppered by poor pace and unreliability. Worse was to come as the team was thrown out of the race in San Marino for a technical irregularity and banned for two events. The situation nonetheless improved as Button claimed pole position in Canada and finally took his first points of the year in France, setting in motion a string of fine finishes, which included two podiums.

He added another pole position to his collection in 2006 but it was in Hungary where he excelled. Battling back from a lowly grid slot, he was supreme in damp conditions and after over 100 races he claimed his overdue maiden win on his way to sixth in the championship.

Honda had taken over the team in 2006 but initial optimism soon disappeared. A radical 2007 car was dreadful and Button scored just six points, although worse was to come in 2008 when he took just three, courtesy of a sixth place finish in Spain. Then came the bombshell that Honda was pulling out of the sport, leaving Button without a drive for 2009.

Ross Brawn salvaged the team and his eponymous outfit stunned in 2009. Button won six of the opening seven rounds of the year and while his campaign stuttered, he amassed a sufficient barrier to win an unlikely world championship.

For 2010, he moved to McLaren and made a strong start as he took two wins and led the world championship. He took another five podiums but ultimately had to play second fiddle to Lewis Hamilton. A year later, he finished runner up only to Sebastian Vettel and claimed three fine victories, the most famous coming on the final lap in Canada, having battled from last to first in a handful of laps.

Button won three times in 2012 in a season punctuated by low moments. He bookended his year with wins - and claimed another courtesy of a dominant drive from pole position in Belgium - but he claimed only a further three podiums. For 2013, McLaren delivered a woeful car that restricted him to ninth in the championship without a single podium all year.