Jenson Alexander Lyons Button, often called Jense, (born 19 January 1980) is an English Formula One racing driver. He currently competes for the Honda Racing F1 team. He won his first Grand Prix in Hungary, on August 6, 2006 after 113 races.
Jenson Button was born on 19 January 1980, in Frome, Somerset, England. He is the son of former Rallycross ace John Button (well-known in the UK for his so-called Colorado beetle Volkswagen and his Autoconti Tuning garage at Trowbridge, Wiltshire), whose best overall results was to become the runner-up in both the Embassy/RAC-MSA British Rallycross and TEAC/Lydden Rallycross championships of 1976. Jenson’s parents are divorced, and he has 3 older sisters.
Button entered Formula Three in 1999 with the Promatecme team. He won three times - at Thruxton, Pembrey and Silverstone - and finished the season as top rookie driver.
He was third overall in the championship, behind Marc Hynes and Luciano Burti, and finished fifth and second respectively in the Marlboro Masters and Macau Grand Prix (0.035s behind winner Darren Manning in the latter).
For the 2003 season Renault team principal Flavio Briatore replaced Button with Fernando Alonso, previously test driver for the team. Despite a "huge outcry" Briatore stated "Time will tell if I am wrong." In 2005 Alonso won the Drivers' Championship with Renault, while Button had yet to win a race and was involved in his second contract dispute in two years. The Times quoted Briatore as saying "Jenson is a fine driver but there were too many contracts, too many things in the background."
BAR boss David Richards fought to keep his driver, though Frank Williams maintained that the switch was entirely legal. The FIA Contract Recognition Board (CRB) held a hearing on October 16 in Milan, Italy, to determine Jenson's 2005 status, concluding that he was contracted to BAR-Honda for the 2005 season.
A poor start to the 2005 Formula One season included disqualification at the San Marino Grand Prix. Scrutinners found that the fuel system of the car 'hid' fuel, allowing the car to finish above minimum weight despite potentially being able to run lighter during the race. The ajudged contravention of the rules resulted in a two-race ban for the team, allowing him to make his television commentary debut, for ITV Sport in Monaco.
At the start of the 2006 Formula One season, BAR Honda were fully purchased by Honda and became a full works team, changing its name to the Honda Racing F1 Team.Button celebrating his first win on the podium at Hungary, alongside drivers Pedro de la Rosa (left) and Nick Heidfeld (right)
At the first round he scored five points with 4th place and finished on the podium in Malaysia. But in Australia his engine blew while running third, having started from pole position. He purposefully stopped short of the finish line to avoid an engine penalty.
At the 2006 Canadian Grand Prix, Button managed to out-qualify his teammate for the first time since Imola. However, after battling with David Coulthard in 8th, Button got passed by him and lost his chance for a point. Another retirement occurred at the 2006 United States Grand Prix when Jenson was one of several drivers eliminated in a first lap collision.
Button was engaged to Fame Academy's Louise Griffiths for two years. Their relationship ended in April 2005, and his socialising with friend David Coulthard became tabloid fodder. His current girlfriend is socialite Florence Brudenell-Bruce.