Jenson Button: “It hits you, like a stake through the heart…”

Jenson Button has made it clear that the Australian GP will be an emotional weekend, coming so soon after the death of his father John.

Button was speaking to British newspaper journalists for the first time about the loss of his father, who died aged 70 earlier this year.

“Whether I liked it or not, my dad was always the last person to give me a high-five or a cuddle before I got into the car,” he said in The Guardian. “Even if I was getting into the car and trying to concentrate he’d always be there to make sure he gave me that last hug.

“I’m going to miss that a lot. If I make the podium it will be unbelievably emotional and if it all turns to shit, and we have a crap race, it will also be emotional too because he’s not there to pick me up.”

Button acknowledged that his father provided priceless support behind the scenes: “When I’d had a bad race he’d come in and put it into perspective. That would annoy me in some ways. I knew he was right, but when your dad is trying to tell you something when you’re in a bad mood it’s always difficult. So it’s going to be a very emotional weekend, and not the only one this year.

“It’s when you’re away from racing, or away from people, that’s when it hurts you. It hits you, like a stake through the heart.”

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