Having started over 300 Grand Prix, Jenson Button has enjoyed a lot of success in his long career in Formula One, winning the world championship for Brawn in 2009. Backed by his father, he began racing at a young age, successful right from the start.
Jenson Button first began Karting when he was eight. In 1991 he became the British Cadet Kart Champion, winning all of the 34 races. Backed by his father, John Button, he won the British Kart Championship three times and then became the youngest ever winner in the European Supercup. In 1997 he also won the Ayrton Senna Memorial cup. Moving on to race cars the following year, 1998, he won the British Formula Ford Championship. He also came second in the European Formula Ford Championship and won the Formula Ford Festival.
Button moved up to Formula Three for the 1999 season, taking pole in his first race. He won three races that season, ending it as top rookie and third overall. He tested for the Prost F1 team and was also offered many other testing contracts. However, Williams offered him a race seat for the 2000 season.
His first season in F1 was successful, picking up points in his second race despite not being in a strong car. He ended his debut season eighth overall. Williams replaced him for Montoya in 2001, so Button made the switch to Benetton. He struggled all season but, when the team became Renault in 2002, he had much more success. Finishing the season with 14 points, he was seventh in the Championship by the end of the season. He was replaced by Fernando Alonso in 2003.
Signed for BAR in 2003, he was teammates to Jacques Villeneuve and finished just ninth overall. Staying in BAR for 2004 he had more success with several great performances – totalling 10 podiums in all. He finished the season in 3rd behind Schumacher and Barrichello. 2005 was an awful season; in San Marino he was disqualified for using a reserve fuel tank, stored within the main tank. This resulted in a two-race ban for the team. Despite this, he managed to get 2 podiums and scored 37 points.
BAR was renamed Honda in 2006 and this was the season Button claimed his first victory. During an unexpected rainstorm in the Hungarian Grand Prix, he got from 14th all the way to first. However, the season only saw him take 2 podiums and a series of retirements saw him finish just 6th.
2007 was a dreadful season seeing Button get only 6 points. 2008 was even worse only getting 3 points to finish 18th overall. To make matters worse, Honda left F1 at the end of 2008 and it seemed like he wouldn’t race at all…
Honda was sold to Ross Brawn in 2009, and Button was given a contract. Winning 6 of the first 7 races, he finally found himself in a very competitive car. After a hugely successful season with the team, winning 6 races, he took the title in Brazil, with one race remaining.
Moving to McLaren alongside Lewis Hamilton in 2010, he won two races but it wasn’t until 2011 that he really made an impact. He won 2 races and finished on the podium 8 times, ending the season second behind the dominant Vettel.
2012 started positively, with a win in the opening race. However, inconsistent results and poor setup choices saw him finish just 5th. With Lewis Hamilton leaving in 2013, Button was partnered with Sergio Perez. A poor car gave him no success and his best result of the season was 4th. 2014 was almost as bad; a strong performance in the season-opener gave them a podium, but the season went downhill from there. Button failed to get on the podium again in the season dominated by Mercedes. After weeks of waiting, Button was announced to be racing for McLaren in 2015.
However, the following two seasons were a disappointing period for the team. McLaren switched to Honda engines, but with power units a year behind in development, 2015 was a tough year and Button scored just 16 points.
The following year was again a hard time for the team and Button announced in September 2016 that he would not be racing in 2017. Having signed a two year deal with McLaren as an ambassador, he will still be remaining in the world of F1, with an option to return to race in 2018.