F1 champ Button’s father had to borrow 50 pounds to get them home

Sunday, October 25, 2009

LONDON - John Button father of Formula one champ Jenson Button, who will get 10 million pounds in December for winning the drivers championship, once had to borrow 50 pounds from a friend to get back home to Somerset after being stranded without petrol 385 miles away at the Larkhall track in Scotland

Button won his first club race four months after his eighth birthday, having started from the back. That night, he slept with the first of many trophies.

And soon father and son were travelling up and down the country to kart tracks. But funding the racing was not easy, and Button Snr once had to borrow 50 pounds.

“I’d had to buy a few bits and pieces we needed for the kart and the money had just run out. I had an old Nissan estate at the time. The way the seats worked, you could fold them down to fit the kart and all the bits but still have a seat for Jenson,” Button Snr said.

“I think he was 10 at the time. I had to borrow the money to get us home. That was probably the low point. But I think it did Jenson good in the long run. It taught him a few values,” News of the World quoted Button Snr, as saying.

“Funding Jenson’s karting career was not easy. We lived a very hand-to-mouth existence. It wasn’t just the karts, but all the travel and hotel bills from driving all over Britain. But I knew Jenson had the potential so I didn’t mind. I would have done the same if he’d shown the same promise in golf or tennis,” he said.

Button Snr eventually set up a business supplying engines and then chassis to kart racers to fund those early years. One of his customers was Lewis Hamilton, who took his first steps towards the F1 world title in a Button kart engine.

His business proved crucial when he was looking for backing to fund Jenson’s switch to the expensive European kart series. (ANI)

Filed under: Golf, Tennis

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