Died suddenly yesterday at the age of 70, apparently of a heart attack, John Button was one of the characters in the paddock. Jovial personality, keen and nicknamed “Papa Smurf,” John enjoyed life, visiting all the races with his son Jenson for many years.
Coming from a very humble background, John Button lived his passion for motorsport first himself, disputing rallycross races in the 70s and paving the way for his son. From the beginning of Jenson karting, man is fully invested and has given every hour and every minute to help reach the highest rank of motorsport.
Hyper-enthusiast dad, putting his car dealership side, John Button was invested as ever, by pure passion, without being attracted by the luxurious image of Formula 1. Mechanic Jenson at the beginning, he never hesitated to put your hands dirty, to the beginnings of the son in car in Formula 3 and Formula Renault. He was also the strong support of many other young drivers like Lewis Hamilton, for whom he prepared in karting engines sometimes free, or Craig Dolby, which must sound raids.
To support his offspring in his quest for success, John Button will primarily invested all the money he could, to take big financial risks with weak economies (it will go to mortgage his house to invest in a small motorhome and take Jenson circuits on the weekends). Proud father with tears every victory of his son, sometimes amplified by a few glasses of wine, was a pleasure to see, and etaiennt a reminder of long days in the English rain, one day, to support his passionate offspring and help to finance weekend after weekend. Jenson won the title of World Champion in 2009, a huge blessing to John Button, who has made every sacrifice to bring his son to this level and reward you with beautiful years of passion lived out in the paddock, in discreetly.
“No Dad, I would probably never entered motorsport. It was he who gave me my first kart, and it was he who took me to Clay Pigeon (kart track in Dorset) when I asked to try a place I really could push, “explained Button with reconnaissanc in 2002. “During these early years, it was still there, standing in the rain, while I was the only one to have fun on the track, and he paid for it. It was he who gave me the space to develop and encourage me when things were tough, that helped me to focus my energy when I decided that F1 was where I wanted to be. He never damn me when I told him that, even though I was just a kid. He has just done everything to help me get on the path that led me to BMW Williams in 2000. There were times when we were running out of money, but he never told me, he never feel guilty for spending created me and the sacrifices he had to make in his own life. Perhaps the most remarkable thing about it is that it was not the kind of “Papa karting” typical. Of course, he mingled in with me, but he was always happy to stand back, as it does now. ”
Privately, endorsement, John Button greeted with bonhomie anyone taking the time to spend a few moments to cut a piece of fat with it. He then remembered you with days of misery when Honda announced its withdrawal from Formula 1 and let Ross Brawn only potential savior of the team. Again, the Button family will financial efforts required, accepting a drop substancial salary “JB” to allow Brawn align its cars on the grid (called a “gift” of 12 million euro ). And because each Brackley knew that this car had a head start and could hit hard by the new regulations. The rest of the story gave them reason.
Become a key figure in the McLaren garage and motorhome since 2010, John Button allows all the image of a permanent smile, an accessible person with contagious enthusiasm. A character as there is little in Formula 1, and having written a great human story, as often complains that it is missing in the sanitized world of F1. Good wind, John!