The Malaysian Grand Prix will mark a substantial milestone for the 2009 World Champion Jenson Button. Here, the British veteran reflects on his journey at the pinnacle of Motorsport.
McLaren have done their bit to make Button’s 300th Grand Prix one to remember by building a pub – The Dog and Button, which had a driver lock-in earlier today.
— McLaren (@McLarenF1) September 30, 2016
On his incredible career, Button added,
“I remember when Rubens got to 300 and it was unbelievable that he got to 300, I thought ‘I’m never going to race that long’. I remember when I started in 2000 I remember speaking to my dad and he was saying ‘how long do you think you’re going to race for, will you still be racing in your thirties?’ and I was like ‘no, I’ll be done by the time I’m 30 years old!’ And here I am at 36 and this weekend at the start of my 300th grand prix.
It definitely sucks you in, Formula One, it doesn’t let go, as long as you’re performing. It’s been a great ride to 300, lots of ups and downs, as every career will have. The important thing is that you stay on top of those bad times as much as you can, because you never know how long they’re going to last. So a very exciting career to this point, 300 races, and if any of these guys around me can achieve the same thing, fair play to them because it’s a long time doing the same thing!”
– Jenson Button
It’s fitting that the Malaysian Grand Prix is the venue for Button’s celebrations as he holds fond memories of Sepang. His first ever podium champagne was gulped here back in 2004 and his 2009 win was surely an initiation in belief that Brawn GP could go all the way.
“I won here, which is a pretty good memory, back in ’09. It was quite a strange race – the rain was so severe we had to red flag the race and it wasn’t restarted. I won the race but only got half points, which was a bit of a pain! It’s always been a great circuit to race on.
It’s also the place I scored my first podium in 2004. I was running third in 2002 as well and on the last lap my suspension failed and handed the third place to Michael Schumacher – so that would have been my first podium. So I’ve got a lot of great memories here.”
– Jenson Button
Button will no doubt be chasing a points finish around Sepang later this time, but congratulations to him on an iconic and incredible career in which the wet-weather-warrior has been the standout driver at many Grand Prix.