Jenson Button is F1 world champion

Posted on

| Written by

Six wins in the first seven races put Button on course for the title
Six wins in the first seven races put Button on course for the title

Jenson Button has won the 2009 F1 drivers’ championship.

He climbed from 14th to fifth in the Brazilian Grand Prix thanks to a combination of a crash at the start of the race and several bold passes by the Brawn driver.

He was already in a position to win the title when fortune dealt another blow to his team mate. Lewis Hamilton passed Rubens Barrichello for third with ten laps to go and clipped the Brawn’s left-rear tyre in the process. Barrichello was forced to make an extra pit stop, and fell to eighth.

It’s a remarkable turnaround for Button’s career. He spent the last two seasons in the doldrums as Honda produced two woefully uncompetitive cars.

The Japanese manufacturer quit F1 at the end of last season. But Button stayed with the newly-formed Brawn team, taking a pay cut as 40% of the staff were laid off to cut costs.

His loyalty was rewarded as the team’s 2009 car proved a triumph. He won six of the first seven rounds, giving him a 26-point lead over team mate Barrichello.

Although Button has struggled to repeat his early season form, he has continued to collect points regularly. And whatever the final racs brings, no driver will win more races this year than he has.

Countries’ champions

Button takes the world championship title from fellow Briton Lewis Hamilton. It’s the first consecutive championship win for a British driver or drivers in four decades: Graham Hill winning in 1968 and Jackie Stewart in 1969.

By a strange coincidence Button won the championship by finishing fifth – just as Hamilton did last year.

Britain now has ten different world champions, who have won 14 titles between them, more than any other country:

1. Britain 14 (Mike Hawthorn, Graham Hill (2), Jim Clark (2), John Surtees, Jackie Stewart (3), James Hunt, Nigel Mansell, Damon Hill, Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button )
2. Brazil 8 (Emerson Fittipaldi (2), Nelson Piquet (3), Ayrton Senna (3))
3. Germany 7 (Michael Schumacher)
4. Argentina 5 (Juan Manuel Fangio)
=5. Australia 4 (Jack Brabham (3), Alan Jones)
=5. Austria 4 (Jochen Rindt, Niki Lauda (3))
=5. France 4 (Alain Prost)
=5. Finland 4 (Keke Rosberg, Mika Hakkinen (2), Kimi Raikkonen)
9. Italy 3 (Giuseppi Farina, Alberto Ascari (2))
=10. United States 2 (Phil Hill, Mario Andretti)
=10. Spain 2 (Fernando Alonso)
=12. New Zealand 1 (Denny Hulme)
=12. South Africa 1 (Jody Scheckter)
=12. Canada 1 (Jacques Villeneuve)

Read more about Jenson Button

2009 Brazilian Grand Prix

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

244 comments on “Jenson Button is F1 world champion”

  1. Rasputin was a C...
    18th October 2009, 18:39

    “thanks to a combination of a crash at the start of the race and several bold passes by the Rubens Barrichello driver.”

    Hmmm, think that might be an error.

    Anywho, bloody excellent result for Button. Well deserved championship after all the pressure and question marks over his ability to see it through.

    1. Sorry, bit of an odd typo that one, fixed it.

    2. If Bar hadn’t got a puncture and stayed ahead for 3rd place, would button still have won the champ with a 6th place?

      1. yes, Barrichello’s bad luck didn’t help Button this time.

        But wow, just got back from my mates house, an Button proved me completely wrong. Won that race through aggresive overtaking, I would have liked to have seen how far he would have got if if he passed Kobayashi earlier. Man has more balls then I initialy credited him with.

      2. no, Bar would have needed button to be 8th if he had finished 3rd.

      3. yes he would still have won.

  2. Bravo Button.

    I think it is the Simulator he uses. ;o)

  3. Fantastic Button well done, great stuff…

  4. Yay Button! Now he can race freely at Abu Dhabi and we’ll see what he can do.

    Great to see Button hug Ecclestone. Bernie is seriously tiny :)

    1. Haha i laughed when i saw that too. You would think Bernie could get a pair of stilts or something…

      1. Maybe a pair of stiletto heels ( and maybe some lipstick)

        1. Then Max would never leave him alone !

    2. I think Jens hugged everyone, including a surprised and delighted cameraman.
      Well done, you & Brawn GP deserved it.

      1. Haha did you see ow Bernie clasped his fingers as he hugged Button? That really made me laugh, Button seemed like a big giant compared to Bernie lol..

        Jake Humphrey looked quite surprised when Button hugged him lol

        I loved the scene when Jenson just came out of his car and Rubens was there waiting to congratulate him, JB jumped and they hugged- heartbreaking, happy, and touching at the same time! Great sportsmanship from Rubens!

        Then Jenson hugging his teary Dad – aww!

        He finally realized his dream! After years and years of struggling in bad cars, he waited patiently for his moment and never gave up! He stayed loyal to his team, never really complained o created problems.. And now when he finally got a good car and won 6 races, after his wins the other teams started to catch up with him YET he still managed to collect valuable points-bar only race that he was DNF because of an accident that wasn’t his fault-and maintained his lead..
        And in his final race he raced his heart out from 14th in nothing but a champion’s drive to 5th – a position even better than the minimum he needed due to Ruben’s position!
        He didn’t hesitate one bit, he was out to get the championship and nothing was going to stop him! Overtaking everyone that came in his way successfully showing his true talent..

        And after aaaaaallllllll of this ppl still say he doesn’t deserve it?!

        Keith said it best, “If Jenson Button doesn’t deserve the 2009 Championship no-one else does”.

        It saddens a little me that some ppl aren’t happy for JB, whether we like it or not as JB happily sung: “We are the Champions!!”

    3. Not only does Bernie tiny, he seems very fragile. Button was giving everyone giant bear hugs except for Bernie: it looked like he was afraid he’d break him!

      Now he can kick back and enjoy Abu Dhabi. Everyone will be going for a win because the two titles are decided. Although maybe Hamilton and Raikkonen will still do some point racing for 3rd in the Constructors.

  5. Quite happy for Button, he seems like a nice person, but ‘Jenson Button, world champion’ just doesn’t seem right

    1. I feel sick. This shouldn’t happen to F1. Oh dear…

      1. Agree with both of you

        1. Jhonnie Siggie
          19th October 2009, 5:18

          Grow up guys…He wins regardless of which computation you use
          1) Most pts….check
          2) Most race wins….check
          3) Most pts finishes….check
          4) Most overtakes…..check (well at least of the top 4 cars)

          I suppose this is also the crowd that believes Massa should be WDC. What he needs is a Tony Robbins. If he doesn’t get over what happened in 2008 he will be eaten alive by Alonso and Hamilton for the rest of his career and like Barichello he will be 37 asking what da heck happened.

    2. Agre with every bit of that Ned

      1. who should have it? Rubens “Crybaby” Barrichello?

      2. I disagree, after quali I agreed, but his race changed my mind. To make his strategy work and to take advantage of luck thrown his way Button had to overtake and overtake, agressively and skilfully. It took guts and that was definately a champions drive.

        Wouldn’t have said that before the race but he won it on merit today from a difficult position in not even one of the fastest cars.

        Anyways, Niki Lauda doffed his hat, man made a very good point, can’t argue with Niki.

        1. I agree with Scribe… after that race, I honestly feel Jensen Button is a deserving World Champion.

          Now, can McLaren grab both Championships in 2010? I certainly hope so! :P

    3. Your right, Jenson Button World Champion doesn’t sound right.

      He’s the Formula 1 world champion, sounds better.

      1. Oh give it a rest you lot FFS. YYYYYAAAAAWWWWWNNNNNNN>>>

      2. YAWN SIGH YAWN. Give it a rest you lot.

        1. ha. 2 adams. both sticking to jensons critics. Totally agree. The guy is World champion and whether you or anyone else “dosent think it sounds right” is completey irrelevant and nobody cares

          Well done Jenson….. You deserve it!

          1. I’m happy for Button, but I really wish it had come down to Abu Dhabi. No this last race seems kinda pointless. I was hoping it would come down to the last lap again.

  6. Six wins in the first seven races put Button on course for the title

    No, it won him the title… He’s been awful since then

    1. Mouse_Nightshirt
      18th October 2009, 19:44

      And so it should have won him the title; that was more than Hamilton won last season.

      1. What race were you watching today? Buttons had a great race – showing he is one of the few people on the track not scared to overtake – and also manage to do it without crashing.

      2. That was a different year, and Hamilton isa better driver than Button. Brawn caught McClaren & Ferrari with their pants down. We will see what happens in 2010.

    2. imagine, Button started badly, then got 6 wins in the second half of the season. would anyone then complain???

      1. I agree, Kimi had a crap start of 2007, but finnished very strong and he’s a hero WDC.
        Jensen’s the same, only he did it the other way round.

    3. imagine Button started 2009 badly, then won 6 races in the second half of the season. would anyone complain then???

      1. Terry Fabulous
        18th October 2009, 22:26

        Excellent point Sato113.
        Let we not forget that at the start of the year we were all bitching and moaning about how boring it was with Button winning everything!

        1. Mouse_Nightshirt
          18th October 2009, 23:26

          I honestly feel sorry for Button. Many will remember him as the champion that limped across the line. That’s a false view in my opinion – he should be rememebred as a world champion, plain and simple.

    4. if Rubens had won those races then he would have been in the lead but he didn’t button did. The brawn was then off the pace and they both struggled.

      more points, more race wins, more consistency more hair and more deserving.

      Well Done Button, Rubens and the rest of the Brawn team fantastic job!

  7. Fantastic!

    Great drive for it too.

    Bad luck Rubens.

  8. Button I’ really happy for you and Imma let you finish but Nigel Mansell was the least deserving WDC of all time … of all time

    1. No, Keke Rosberg in 1982 was by far the least deserving “champion”. Button earned the necessary points, but he is a one-hit-wonder and I bet he will never trouble the top of the championship tables again. Button will be known as the Jacques Villeneuve of the 21st century.

      1. Button was rather competitive in 2004 was he not?

        1. man of the season in many respects

      2. Keke Rosberg got the most points. Therefore he is a deserving world champion. He drove very concitently and therefore deserves to be champion. You get the most points you deserve it

        So shhhh

        1. Not necessarily. Imagine if Ferrari build a dominant car next year, Alonso leads Massa 1-2 in the first 14 races so he has 140 points and Massa 112. Then Alonso DNFs the final four rounds, Massa wins them all and wins the title despite never having actually beaten Alonso in a straight fight.

          Is the guy with the most points then deserving of the title?

          1. If alonso DNF’s the final four rounds,
            knowing the rule system he deserves to lose
            for being a flake that cannot be cautious
            when he holds all the winning cards.

          2. Peter what if my some chance it is engine failure or something happens which is not Alonso’s fault? That is hardly fair, but then again the drivers championship will always to some extent come down to the reliability of the car and external factors.

        2. Rosberg only one won race taht year Gilles got killed otherwise he would have won the WDC, his team mate Peroni broke his legs that put him out otherwise he’d probably have won.

  9. Good job Jenson. You haven’t really impressed this year but that was a champion drive. Good for you.

    1. he impressed me…

  10. “Jenson Button is F1 world champion”

    I think the World just imploded

    1. Terry Fabulous
      19th October 2009, 3:12

      Yup, the world has imploded. The man who has won the most races, earned the most points and driven faster then his teammate for the bulk of the season in the new champion.

      Next you will be horrified that the team which scores the most goals win the game, or the fastest runner wins the race.

      1. Jhonnie Siggie
        19th October 2009, 5:24

        Well said…. I was thinking about Man Utd being prudent when holding a nice lead going into the final games… You can never please some ppl

  11. Well done to Button, glad it’s over. Now, lets move on to 2010.

    1. hahaha, perfect. Please, bring us 2010.

      I hope Kobayashi will be there too, he’s done a great job fighting against Vettel and Button, a great wheel to wheel against Nakajima and he overtook Fisichella. All on his first F1 race.

      1. Yes Kobayashi looked great today, makes the other rookies in F1 look silly and also the comments that it takes time to adapt – he had very little dry running in time with the practice sessions and qualifying, but performed brilliantly for a first race.

        1. Yes, Kobayashi was great today, shame he didn’t score. He reminds me a bit of Montoya, very feisty behind the wheel.

        2. Seem to recall Hamilton already passing by his first corner….

          1. Jhonnie Siggie
            19th October 2009, 5:28

            Button said after the race that Kobayashi was crazy….I think what he really means is that if you see a car in title contention in your mirror pull aside gently… I thought Kobayashi did OK on debut

      2. Agree, Kobayashi showed a real racers instinct. Button did call him crazy but I don’t think he was expecting him to put up such a good fight.
        With a bit of practice and understanding that he can’t weave so much in F1 he could go a long way. We all know Japan needs a good driver. He surely deserves a drive for next year.

  12. Congratulations to Button, he has the most points, he deserves it this season. But not since Villeneuve has a more medicore driver won the F1 championship – it is sad. There are a bunch of drivers that are clearly faster and better than Button, to mention a few: Raikkonen, Massa, Alonso, Hamilton, Kubica and Vettel. Button just benefitted from having the best car early in the season and his team mate not being the fastest brazilian out there.

    Superb drive from Hamilton, he advanced 14 places – more than anyone else, simply impressive.

    1. Vettel is fast, but he just hasn’t had the overtakes when absolutely needed unlike Button

    2. I don’t see where you get that Villeneuve was a mediocre driver when he won. He was loaded with talent. That he unfortunately went off to BAR and then slumped into anonymity is another matter.

  13. Great Race and Now anohter Brit is Champion and an Aussie gets his 2nd Win. Good Race all around.

  14. Did you see that drive? DID YOU SEE THAT DRIVE? Someone PLEASE tell me, in all seriously, that his race today was not a champion’s drive. Button has had more spectacular – and crucial – overtakes than anyone else on the grid this year!

    1. That’s actually true. Jenson really impressed today.

      My real gripe with 2009 is FIA’s deliberate KERS back-track which left Ferrari, McLaren and BMW with seriously unaerodynamic cars compared to the rest, and the approval of the double diffusor – where Brawn basically headed the working group to set the regulations and then twisted them. Clever but unsporting. FIA/BE’s attempt to ‘reverse the grid’ I think. It worked.

      Had Ecclestone’s third bit of championship-rigging worked, the medal system, Button would have been champion way before today.

      Roll on a serious championship in 2010.

      1. Get your facts straight before making derogatory remarks about people.

        Ross Brawn formally warned all the other teams and FIA, in late 2008, and long before the 2009 rules were set in stone, that there were dangerous loopholes in the regs planned for 2009. He warned that a really clever engineering team could drive a coach and horses through the aero rules.

        They virtually laughed him out of the room.

        But they stopped laughing when Barcelona testing began.

        Brawn won the constuctors championship fair and square, though they certainly won’t have things so easy next year….so bring on 2010 !

        1. Not aware of the story regarding Ross Brawn heading the regs commitee etc.. but the ambiguous statements in the specification could have been easily pointed out just by asking for clarification on a particular point (e.g. Is a split level diffuser allowed?), if this was done (by at least one team) surely all teams would be informed about any amendment to the spec? As it happened all teams were free to interpret the specification to gain a design advantage; all part of the game but most teams decided to read between the lines to adopt the design which they knew the spec. had originally ‘intended’ and so avoid the risk of their design being ruled illegal.
          If Brawn did point this out, specifically as a loophole, it would seem he was well aware that the specification had intended to rule out double diffusers.. he took the risk and it paid off. I personally have doubts over whether it would still have been ruled ‘legal’ if, for example, mclaren and ferrari had come out with a double diffuser design. I don’t see how rules and regulations can be definitive if they are authorized somewhat arbitrarily depending on who / what you are. But hey .. all in the name of entertainment.
          Bad luck to Barrichello (esp. with the puncture – I guess Hamilton won’t be booking any holidays in Brazil any time soon :D), Vettel (who will undoubtedly be world champion in coming years) and the Red Bull team (watch out for another strong performance next year from them).
          Congrats to Button and the Brawn team… fairytale ending and Webber. Agree that Button did drive well in today’s race, could have silenced his critics with more of the same through the latter part of the season!!
          Looking forwards to the next race and especially the next season now!

          1. i remember that, brawn told the OWG that there was problems with the technical aero rules they laid out and it needed to be defined more. but they didnt do anything about it.

            he did the ethical thing and brought it to everyones attention

          2. If you go back a few months it was reported that Red Bull asked Charlie Whiting, before the season started, if the double diffusers were legal and was told that they were not legal.
            As reported on F1 GP Update