Jenson Button didn’t expect to reach 300 Grand Prix, a milestone he is due to celebrate this weekend in Malaysia.
Joining the sport in 2000 with Williams, it was a nail-biting event just even getting the seat. Since he has had stints at Benetton, BAR which turned in Honda before Ross Brawn gave the team a rebirth after the Japanese manufacturer pulled out. It was his defining year, winning the World Championship before finding a new home at McLaren where he drove alongside Lewis Hamilton. He joins an elete group of drivers who have driven over 300 races.
He said in the drivers press conference, “That’s a good question that deserves a very long answer and I’m not going to give it to you here. It means I have been around for a hell of a long time. I remember when Rubens got to 300 – it was unbelievable that he’d reached 300 grands prix.
“I was like, “I’m never going to race for that long”. I remember when I started in 2000 – I’m not going to give you my life story – but when I started in 2000 I remember speaking to my dad and he said: “How long do you think you’re going to race for?” and I said: “No! I’ll be done by the time I’m 30 years old.” And here I am at 36 and this weekend I’m starting my 300th grand prix. It definitely sucks you in, Formula One. It doesn’t let go for a long time, as long as you are performing.
“So it’s been a great ride to 300. Lots of ups and downs, as every career will have, and the important thing is that you stay on top of those bad times and you enjoy the good times as much as you can, because you never know how long they are going to last. A very exciting career to this point, 300 races, and if any of these guys can achieve it around me, fair play to them, because it’s a long time doing the same thing.”