Jenson Button. The name has become commonly used in Formula 1 for the past 15 years. But will it soon be time for one of our greatest drivers to leave us?
Button is now thinking about retirement. He says he does not find racing ‘enjoyable’ anymore. This, of course, has caused a stir not just among the drivers and greats of the sport, but among the British public. However, it would not be a massive surprise to most if Button did leave the sport at the end of this year. He, along with teammate Fernando Alonso, race in hopelessly uncompetitive cars that will never challenge for a race victory, or even pole position this year. The speed, power and engineering of the other cars they are competing with is just on another level. Even Honda’s return to the sport this year has not provoked any changes in the team, with both drivers finishing in the teens in almost every race this year.
But now, onto Button himself, as we take a look at his long and illustrious career in F1. He began his time in the sport all the way back in 2000, racing for Williams, where he had a good first year, finishing 8th in the Drivers Championship! He also helped Williams secure 3rd position in the Constructors Championship. Then, in 2002, he moved to Benetton, which later became Renault in 2002. In 2003, Button moved to BAR, and the next year he finished 3rd in the Drivers Championship, only beaten by the Ferraris of Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello. BAR was then renamed Honda for the 2006 season, when Button won his first race, on the 133th attempt. Honda then removed themselves from the sport in 2008, leaving Button without a car for the 2009 season. That was the case until Ross Brawn bought the company, and renamed it Brawn. Button was now in a highly competitive, mid engined Mercedes car, which he drove to victory in 6 of the 7 first races in the calendar, which helped him to eventually win the Drivers Championship, also helping Brawn to win the Constructors championship.
Since 2010, Button has driven for the team Mclaren. In 2011, he was runner up in the Drivers Championship, and he got his first pole in 2012 for the team. But since then, things have gone downhill and Button may end his career on a low, at the end of 2015. But who knows; he might stay.