Button and Brawn, the new World Champions[edit | edit source]
In Brazil, Jenson Button and Brawn GP had completed their massive turnaround following thier pre-season woes with victory in both the World Drivers' and World Constructors' championship. Brawn whom had successfully secured their future following former owners, Honda, pulling out of the sport at the end of 2008 went on to win five of the opening six races with Jenson Button.
Button would summarise the year in stating "To be able to achieve the constructors’ and the drivers’ championships in our first year, especially after such a difficult winter, is an amazing achievement. It’s been a rollercoaster of emotions. The first few races were magnificent. It looked like it was a walk in the park but it really wasn’t. Then we had some difficult races, especially myself but also as a team where we struggled. But we fought back hard and when we needed to improve the car, you guys did it."
However this was no consolation for the Brackley team's employees that were lost ahead of the team's downsizing at the beginning of the season.
To the lost members of his team, Ross Brawn could only say “I want to thank everyone who has worked with the team over the years that couldn't be with us this season as we had to resize the team at the start of the season.My sincere thanks go out to them because they worked so hard and should feel a part of our success."
Button, the new world champion would go on to further state “I know that there have been a lot of very difficult times and over the winter there were times when we didn’t think that we would be here at all. It’s very sad that not everyone can be here who worked on this fantastic car. But the team had to become smaller to continue and together we produced a car that has been exceptional this season."
Regarding his own recent personal situation, the world champion commented "I’ve had a difficult time of it in the past. It’s about staying strong in the difficult times. You need good people around you to keep you positive and keep your feet on the ground. I’ve made mistakes along the way but I’ve put them right and I think people appreciate that.”
Button's teammate, Rubens Barrichello had also experienced success with the Brawn having won two races and being described by Ross Brawn as having "made a fantastic contribution to this season without which we could not have won the constructors' championship.”
Barrichello had continued to challenge for the World Drivers' Championship until the penultimate round at his home grand prix in Brazil. However a disastrous home race for Barrichello prevented a championship showdown at Abu Dhabi when he dropped down to eighth position at the chequered flag.
Although Barrichello's teammate would be crowned world champion, Button had also been known for some lack luster performances, yet to finish higher than fifth following his early season dominance. However, Button commented regarding his season troubles "We proved in Brazil last weekend that we deserve these championships. We’ve fought so hard and a championship season is about achieving the results when you need to. We’ve had some difficult races but we always did the best job that we could."
On the hardship of his season, Button would state “To be able to achieve the constructors’ and the drivers’ championships in our first year, especially after such a difficult winter, is an amazing achievement. It’s been a rollercoaster of emotions. The first few races were magnificent. It looked like it was a walk in the park but it really wasn’t. Then we had some difficult races, especially myself but also as a team where we struggled. But we fought back hard and when we needed to improve the car, you guys did it.”
Two days after his world championship victory in Brazil, Button returned to his homeland in Britain. There he was taken to Kent's Bluewater Shopping Centre to attend a promotional event.
Commenting on the return to his homeland, Button stated “It’s quite surreal, I got off the plane and came straight here. It’s been an emotional flight back. This weekend has been pretty special for me and everyone who has been involved since the start of my career. I’ve spent 21 years racing with this goal in mind, which I have now managed to achieve."
Although there remained one final race of the season, Button now had a very much carefree attitude in stating "We’re not going to forget about this for a long time. Every morning I wake up, until next season, I’m going to have a smile on my face."
Concerning whether Button would stay with Brawn into 2010, the world champion commented “The most important thing for my career is to be in a competitive car, and this year I’ve had that. I’m not looking for a new team. I want to be with Brawn. We just haven’t discussed it during the season. And it was right not to do so because we had to focus on winning a world championship. Now we can sit down and discuss it a bit more.” Following his conference at the Bluewater Shopping Centre, Button spent the Tuesday evening "merry-making" with friends and family.
The following day, Button attended the team's factory in Brackley where he was welcomed to the sound of his Brazilian Grand Prix post-race team radio's rendition of "We are the Champions!" Neither his teammate, Rubens Barrichello nor his boss, Ross Brawn attended the reception. On their absence, Button commented "Rubens gave us two more wins in Valencia and Monza at an important time to boost our morale and prove just how quick the car was. We have a great leader, a fantastic leader, in Ross. The Big Bear can’t be here today but I know that when he gets back, he’ll be celebrating with you!"
Commenting on his singing of "We are the Champions", Button excused himself as “That’s why I didn’t have a voice for two days after the race!” Speaking to 450 of the Brawn team, Button stated “I’m really here today to say a massive well done and thank you to everyone at the team. We’ve worked so hard for these achievements for so many years. Some of us were here from the beginning back in 1998 and I arrived halfway through our journey in 2003 but everyone has put so much work in."
In closing his speech to the Brackley squad, Button stated "So we should raise our glasses as the new Formula One world champions of 2009. We’ve done what we set out to achieve. It really is going to take some time to sink that we are there. Celebrating our victories here with you means so much to me and we are really going to enjoy this moment. Thank you so very much for your amazing contribution to our successes.”
Regarding the new world champions, seven time World Drivers' champion, Michael Schumacher stated regarding his old boss and rival "Congratulations to Jenson and Ross and the whole team - what they managed to achieve this year has my full respect,” said Schumacher on his official website. “If you only look at what they have been through you realize what an incredible story this is: just one year ago they did think everything was over. I am extremely happy for Ross who I’ve known for such a long time now. He deserves this success.”
However Schumacher also offered thought for Germany's new rising star, Sebastian Vettel. Schumacher consoled Vettel's defeat in the championship in stating “What a pity obviously for Sebastian, but he still has a lot of time. He had a fantastic season and showed that he has everything to become world champion. He must not forget that with all the disappointment now. Of course he will see that differently at the moment and will need some days to digest this weekend. But I am sure we will see a lot of good stuff from him in the future."
Outgoing world champion, Lewis Hamilton would meanwhile comment "He knows that I've been supporting him all year, and I've seen him and given him my congratulations. I've been saying for months that he'd be a worthy world champion and I think he'll be a great ambassador for our sport."
Button thereafter head to Dubai where he would then spend the next week relaxing ahead of the final round of the world championship in Abu Dhabi.