We all know Jenson Button as the ‘Gentleman Racer’ and Formula 1 World Champion, but he’s just as popular with McLaren employees back at our Woking HQ as he is with fans. And so, on this very special weekend, employees from across McLaren share their messages for Jenson as he enters the next chapter in his career.
McLaren Applied Technologies
“Abu Dhabi will be a sad farewell to ‘Jenson the gent’. I wish him all the best for his next chapter.”
“I met Jenson at Silverstone when I was in the army and I remember he was an absolute gentleman and ambassador for McLaren. He was a genuine bloke, very friendly and chatty, and it was one of the best experiences I have ever had with a professional sports person.
“Also watching his win in Canada in changing conditions was one of the most exciting races I have ever seen. I was on the edge of my seat, fidgeting with excitement, watching Jenson carve his way through the field. It was truly amazing and a testament to his skill.”
“What makes Jenson special is his capacity to gather people around him to fix any issue he has; to find the right support to go faster, and to be on top of everything he has to do.”
“My favourite memory of Jenson is his love for his family and friends, especially his relationship with his Dad.
"Then the madness of his win in Canada after a horrendous race with all the rain. JB drove like a world champion to win the race.
“Jenson's professionalism was always apparent, he is always courteous and totally professional. Even in the last couple of years, he never lost his cool and stayed true to the team. He’s always positive and loyal.”
“I remember Jenson’s first win in the wet conditions. That day Jenson was the only person who stood between Pedro de la Rosa and his only F1 win – something they’d both worked tirelessly for years to be in a position to achieve. On that day Jenson showed what he could do with a confident win. Over the years we saw him in a McLaren excelling in the wet – he was superb at judging the right point where the conditions changed.”
McLaren Applied Technologies
“My memories with Jenson is shaking his hand in the restaurant. It was like touching god! I will miss him so much.”
Jesse De Souza
“F1 is going to miss one of the best drivers on the grid. I’ll never forget the epic drive on 12 June 2011 at the Canadian Grand Prix. Masterclass.”
“Jenson is friendly, sincere and a highly-motivated professional. I think it’s difficult to pin it down to one or two things, but this is a team sport – it comes down to one person winning at the end of the day, but there’s a whole load of people behind them. I think he has a real respect for that. When things go well, you win as a team, and when things don’t work out, you lose as a team.
“He’s hugely dedicated to training, and it will be interesting to see the amount he’ll be able to do next year when he’s no longer racing. He’s hugely self-motivated, and he’s goal-orientated, so he has to have something to focus on.”
McLaren Technology Group
“Although I can recall a number of racing memories, my favourite memory of Jenson is one lunchtime when I was fortunate enough to share a restaurant table with Jenson and his race engineer.
“Jenson was relaying one of his holiday memories, of the time his father borrowed a jet-ski which suffered technical problems. His Dad, along with the stricken jet-ski, was eventually found and towed back by boat. However, rather than sitting in the boat, Jenson’s Dad was getting soaked whilst still riding on the jet-ski!
"It was so refreshing to listen to a humorous, real-life experience from Jenson, as if he was a long-term colleague.”
“My family went to the Austin F1 race in 2014 for a surprise birthday party for my Father’s 60th. My Dad got to meet and talk with Jenson at the McLaren Automotive VIP party. Jenson was so polite and welcoming to a complete stranger, and that left a great impression on my father. I have this lasting picture in my head of my father and Jenson chatting and carrying on as if they were friends. It was truly the best birthday present I could ever give my Dad.”
“I would like to mention Jenson coming from 14th on the grid in Hungary 2006 to win his first Grand Prix. What an amazing drive that was. Canada was not bad either!
“I have always been a massive fan of Jenson. The way he treats his fans and work colleagues is amazing. The perfect gentleman.”
“I had a brief chat with Jenson outside the simulator during my first few weeks at McLaren Racing. What a gent, so approachable and down to earth, who many say has the best personality on the grid. All the best Jenson!”
Do you have a favourite memory of Jenson? Tweet us @McLarenF1 using the hashtag #GreatButton.