To celebrate the current champ turning 30, here’s a little photo biography of his F1 career, he’s been in quite a few teams over the past decade with some interesting liveries on his path to becoming World Champion in 2009.
He bursts onto the scene with Williams, partnering Ralf Schumacher. As with many rookies, he was mighty impressive from the word go, before going off the boil in his second and third year…
He moves to Benetton who were struggling to recreate their mid-nineties form
Benetton becomes Renault, Jenson stays under Flavio’s leadership, but has to wear some dodgy overalls
Jenson joins the slightly more tasteful BAR team, well after they ditched the half’n’half livery idea and went with Lucky Strike branding
He stayed at the Brackley based BAR team for the 2003, 2004 and 2005 and had some pretty solid seasons, where at one point the he was the next best after the mighty Ferrari/Schumacher/Barrichello combination.
The BAR team then became Honda in 2006 and Jenson remained there for the ’06, ’07 and ’08 seasons where the team where often the joke of the F1 grid – both in terms of results and their choice of livery.
The results were so bad in fact that Honda pulled out at the end of 2008 to make way for the fairytale year that was 2009 with the management buyout, the Brawn name above the door and becoming one of the most successful F1 teams in history (well, in terms of races entered relative to the number of wins).
Jenson’s big chance to win the title with an awesome car – one of the biggest upsets in F1
It’s going to be an interesting year for the 30 year old, in the McLaren team with number 1 on the car alongside the 2008 champion Lewis Hamilton. Jenson has beaten most of his teammates over the years, including 1997 champion Jacques Villeneuve, but as for Hamilton, many say he’ll struggle – it will be an interesting fight – that’s for sure.
If you haven’t seen it already here’s Jenson in his McLaren gear – notice the lack of any beard – seems that it didn’t fit with McLaren’s uber-corporate-ness….
So anyway, many happy returns Mr Button!
In case you’re wondering – yes F1 news is a little thin on the ground at the moment, but we don’t celebrate everyone’s birthdays – just milestones of the great drivers – hence Gilles’ rememberence piece yesterday and Jenson turning 30 today….