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Jenson Button appears at JD Classics’ breakfast

24 October 2017

JD Classics welcomed more than 500 guests to its latest breakfast morning, which was headlined by 2009 Formula 1 World Champion, Jenson Button.

The company opened up its 155,000 sq/ft site to some of its most loyal customers, partners and ballot winners, allowing them a look at its seven showrooms full of some of the most legendary classic and performance cars ever built. Some of JD Classics’ team were also on-hand to talk visitors through the restoration workshop, race shop, body shop and engine shop where the work takes place.

The day culminated in a talk from 2009 Formula 1 World Champion Jenson Button, who appeared alongside the Brawn GP car that he drove to victory in 2009. Button spoke candidly about his time in Formula One, his elation at being crowned World Champion and a passion for classic cars.

Button told the visitors, how his father had bought him a go-kart for Christmas, and his passion for motorsport began there. “It was actually just something for us to do on the weekends… then somebody said we should enter into a race – which was never the plan – but I did, and I won my first race.”

Button was to take lessons learned from his idol Prost into his Formula 1 days, replicating his consistent and calculated driving style. “He always said to me that he never wanted to damage the car, and that’s so similar to me.”

Impressed by his test with Prost, Williams signed Button up for his first competitive Formula One drive in 2000, where he finished 8th in his first season, before moving to a difficult season with Benetton and then BAR where Jenson partnered with Jacques Villeneuve.

In 2006, Jenson moved to Honda where he would get his first win in Formula One at the Hungarian GP after 113 races. “I had 12 laps to go and I was 35 seconds ahead. A lot of drivers say they want the race to finish immediately, they’re worried about things going wrong. But I savoured every moment.”

Button’s most memorable season was 2009, when he would become World Champion with Brawn GP against all odds, following the collapse of Honda before it became Brawn GP. “It was so late that we got the call that it was back on… we were frantically running around figuring out where we get an engine from. We had Mercedes engines in the end, which didn’t fit – there’s actually a spacer in the car between the tub and the engine to make it fit because it was designed for a Honda engine.”

Despite retiring from Formula One, Button said he hasn’t retired from motorsport altogether. “I will be driving something next year. I haven’t got a contract to do anything yet but I love Super GT. It’s basically a DTM car, a carbon tub with a 2.0-litre turbo engine, 650hp and huge amounts of downforce. I had a little taster of that in August and absolutely loved it – the hunger is back for racing.”

Button also spoke about his passion for classic cars, saying: “I’ve really really got into my classic cars, and coming here [to JD Classics] is dangerous! I’ve already got a Ferrari F40 here – my dream car – and a Porsche 964 Turbo X88 Pack.”

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