John Button 1943-2014

John Button, the father of Jenson and formerly a top rallycross driver in his own right, has passed away after a suspected heart attack at his home in France. He had celebrated his 70th birthday in Hungary last year.

A wonderful, outgoing character, it goes without saying that he was Jenson’s number one supporter throughout the latter’s career. John took Jenson through the karting ranks and then attended all but one of his F1 starts, only missing out through illness. He had hundreds of friends up and down the paddock, and not just at McLaren or Jenson’s previous teams.

A familiar face since Jenson’s debut in 2000, his colourful personality sometimes disguised the fact that he was an extremely perceptive observer of the F1 world. His advice and counsel was clearly very useful to his son over the years, and helped to keep Jenson’s feet on the ground.

The astonishingly close father/son relationship was a shining example for people in any walk of life, never mind racing, where ambitious dads don’t always take the right approach.

Few in F1 knew about John’s rallycross exploits, notably with a VW Beetle, and later a Golf. He was one of the leading British drivers of the seventies, regularly featuring on BBC Grandstand, and he even earned a slot on the cover of Autosport.

A great human being and a total one-off, he will be sadly missed. This writer offers his sincere condolences to Jenson, his sisters and the rest of the Button family.


Filed under F1 News, Grand Prix News

4 responses to “John Button 1943-2014

  1. Tragic news. Such a wonderful man. I got to know him quite well. He was a real gentleman to all he met. I can’t think how it will not affect Jenson, as they were inseparable on race weekends.

  2. LRMann

    Never easy the passing of a parent; and, Button sr. being only 70 makes it that much more unexpected and so harder. Clearly Button sr. raised a well-adjusted son in Jenson. RIP.

  3. Stone the Crows

    Condolences to Jensen and his family, its always tough to lose your dad, and 70 is too young.

    • 1oftheluckyfriends

      I am deeply saddened about John’s passing. He was one of the brightest lights in F1. Devoted father, passionate race enthusiast, consistently fun, funny, charming and always smashing in his pink button-down shirt, John is already missed long before the next season begins. What a loss for the Button family, what a loss for those of us who have had the pleasure to know John, but I can guarantee you that “Heaven Just Got a Whole Lot More fun!”

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