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Jenson Button is a British Formula 1 driver that began his F1 career when he won the McLaren/Autosport Young Driver of the Year Award in 1998 - the main prize was a chance to test driver for the McLaren F1 Team. In 1999, he also tested for Prost F1. His performance in the Prost tests were impressive enough to catch the eye of Frank Williams, head of the prestigious Williams F1 Team.
Frank Williams tested Jenson and another candidate (Bruno Junqueira) before ultimately opting to give Buttona a race seat in 2000. Since then, he has driven for Benetton (Which became Renault F1 in his second and final year there) and BAR (British American Racing) which became Honda in 2006 and subsequently Brawn GP in 2009.
His career has been checkered with poorly developed cars (Notably the 2001 Benetton lacked Power Steering and the 2007/2008 Hondas suffered from major design flaws in their aerodynamics) and run ins with Formula 1's regulatory body, the FIA, because of car parts deemed illegal by the rules of the sport (A strict interpretation of a rule, seen by man as an attempt to make an example of the team, had BAR's cars thrown out of three races in 2005).
Button achieved his first F1 win at the Hungarian GP in 2006 while racing for Honda. The team subsequently had a disastrous 2007 season and brought in ex-Ferrari technical director, Ross Brawn as team director to turn the team around. With major changes to the sport in 2009, the decision was made to effectively write off the 2008 season by opting not to correct serious design flaws in the hastily-designed 2008 racer (It was thrown together to replace a previous design for a 2008 racer based on the equally flawed 2007 model), which lead to Jenson only managing to amass a total of 3 points for the whole of 2008.
The Honda team folded at the end of 2008 effectively leaving Jenson without a race seat for 2009. In January of 2009, Ross Brawn announced that he had led a management takeover of the Honda team. It was re-christened Brawn GP in honour of the man who bought (Albeit for a nominal £1) and would lead it. Jenson was instantly announced as one of the drivers for the 2009 season and Rubens Barrichello was confirmed to be his team mate once again shortly after.
Despite missing most of the pre-season testing, the first car to be raced by the Brawn GP team, BGP-001, looked impressive. At Melbourne, the inaugural race of the 2009 season, Button claimed pole position in qualifying. He then converted his pole position into his 2nd ever race win, leading the pack from the start to the checkered flag leaving many to believe that 2009 could be Jenson's most successful year in Formula 1.
This proved to be the case, with Button taking a further 5 victories, 3 Pole positions and another Podium finish. By Round 11, he continued to lead the World Championship by a margin of 18 points from teammate Rubens Barrichello.
Despite a mid-season slump in performance - partly caused by competitors' cars finding extra performance relative to the already highly developed Brawn and partly through a combination of bad luck (Problems in qualifying) and circumstance (Pressure from being chased relentlessly by rivals for the world championship), Jenson still led the Championship ith 2 rounds to go.
On 18 October 2009, Jenson won the drivers championship at the Brazilian Grand Prix by storming through the field - in what pundits like Martin Brundle have called "a champion's drive" - from 14th on the grid to a championship-clinching 5th Place. He won with 89 points and with one more race remaining. At the same time, Button's team clinched the Constructors' Championship, cementing a fairytale year for the team and Jenson.
Later in 2009, Jenson signed a deal to move to McLaren for 2010, alongside fellow Brit Lewis Hamilton - saying he was searching for a fresh challenge, in this case going up against the man many believe to be the fastest F1 driver in the field in the same equipment. Jenson had his first outing as a McLaren driver on February 3rd 2010. He had previously tested a McLaren in 1999 as a prize for winning the McLaren/Autosport Young Driver of the Year Award (As noted above).