JENSON Button - Team BAR

Date of birth : 19 January 1980
Birthplace : Frome
Nationality - British
Marital status : Engaged to Louise
Height : 182 cm
Weight : 68 kg

Wins : 0
Points scored : 28
Number of GP : 51
Pole Position : 0
Podiums : 0
First GP : 2000 (Melbourne)
Best result : 4


Jenson Button entered formula1 with a bang, after he was plucked from the obscurity of British formula 3 to act as an f1 driver for Sir Frank Williams' team in 2000. This created quite a stir, with many seasoned campaigners wondering if his inexperience would cause on-track incidents as he fought with the world's top drivers to show his worth.

However quite the opposite happened as he soon showed his speed and natural talent on the track, and became a hit with the media and fans alike thanks to his laid-back and warm personality when outside the car.

He performed steadily in that debut year, and managed to finish eighth in the drivers' championship with twelve points. Despite struggling with qualifying on his first few outings he quickly got to grips with it, and was soon able to out-qualify experienced team mate, Ralf Schumacher.

In doing so he scored the best grid position of the season for Williams in Belgium, when he took P3 for himself.

Come Sunday he also proved a mature racing driver, although there were a few on-track incidents as a result of over-exuberance and inexperience. He had several runs with his team mate to be, Jarno Trulli, that season causing the normally implacable Italian to issue him with an angry warning.

At the end of 2000 he was a firmly established favourite, and a highly-regarded racing driver, and was off to Benetton for two seasons while Williams evaluated Juan Pablo Montoya, with the option of returning in 2003.

So, what a shock 2001 must have been. From the very start it was clear that Benetton had a difficult and under-performing car, which Button struggled with. His engineers were also fairly new to formula1, and this combined with Button's inexperience allowed his team mate Giancarlo Fisichella to consistently outpace him.

He soon came under attack for his lack of pace, and at the beginning of 2001 was fighting with the Arrows and Minardis in qualifying. His jet-set lifestyle, including an apartment in Monaco and top of the range Princess yacht, was blamed by some for his dramatic fall from grace, and others questioned where his main motivation and focus lay.

He was also publicly criticised by new team boss, Flavio Briatore, through the media. However, the Englishman fought back and was showing better at the end of 2001. He knows that he still has to prove that 2000 was not a fluke, and is also probably aware that a return to Williams next year is looking unlikely following the impact his Colombian replacement made last season.

In 2002 a better car and engine expected from Renault, and Button but didn't turn out quite to his expectations.

Replaced by Fernando Alonso for the 2003 season, Jenson made the switch to British American Racing where he will partner 1997 Champion, Jacques Villeneuve.

C A R E E R  H I G H L I G H T S

2002 Formula 1 (Renault), 7th with 14 points.
2001 A difficult year with Benetton. Button finished seventeenth in the drivers' championship with two points.
2000 Formula1 debut with Williams. Finishes 8th with 12 points.
1999 Races to third place in British Formula3 with Carlin Motorsport. Wins Avon Rookie of the Year award. 2nd in the Macau Formula 3 Grand Prix and is named Top Rookie.
1998 1st in the British Formula Ford Festival. 1st in the British Formula Ford Championship. 2nd in the European Formula Ford Championship. Winner of the McLaren/Autopsort Young Driver of the Year award.
1997 Karting - Wins Ayrton Senna Memorial Cup in Suzuka. 2nd in the Winter Cup. Youngest ever winner of the European Super A Championship.
1996 Karting - 3rd in the American Championship at Charlotte. 3rd in the World Cup at Suzuka. 5th in the European Formula A Championship.
1995 Karting - 1st in the Senior ICA Italian Championship. 2nd in the Formula A World Championship in France.
1994 Karting - Double race winner in the Junior Intercontinental A Italian Winter Championship. Race winner in the Junior Intercontinental A European Championship. 4th with the Birel team in the RAC Junior Championship.
1993 Karting - 1st in the British Open Championships.
1992 1st in the British Championship for Junior TKM. Ist in the British Open Championship.
1991 Karting - 1st in the British Cadet Championship, where he won all six rounds. 1st in the British Open Champiosnhip.
1990 Karting - 1st in the British Cadet Championships.
1989 Karting - 1st in the British Super Prix.




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