Jenson Button, Formula One World Champion, has shared his top six motor racing moments through a collaboration with Motor Sport magazine. Read also contributed to this article.
From 1971’s Italian Grand Prix top 2015’s Silverstone round, plus three of his F1 races, Button’s six picks are a collection of content taken from the Motor Sport back catalog. Readly publishes the content and is a subscription app that gives digital access to thousands of more magazines.
Jenson invited me to join him on a video call to talk about his favorite races. I also had the opportunity to chat with Jenson about his childhood in karting, life in Los Angeles, his family, and his collection of classic cars. This in-depth piece was also written for Forbes.
Button says, “I have six races that stand out to me. That made a significant difference in my life.” The first race is from 1971, and it’s also the one that I haven’t seen live. It’s the Italian Grand Prix. Five people are competing for victory. All five finished within two-tenths seconds. If you haven’t seen it, it’s an incredible race.
Jenson’s second highlight comes from the World Endurance Championship and the Silverstone race in the 2015 season. It was a fight between two cars: an Audi and a Porsche in the LMP1 category. It was non-stop fighting for 30 minutes.
“That one’s really fascinating because now WEC’s growing and 2023 will be an extraordinary year in endurance racing. I believe it’s nine manufacturers who are going to show up at Le Mans as the top category. This is something we’ve never seen before. It’s something I am really excited about.
When I ask Button if he will actually be at Le Mans 2023, he replies: “The idea was to actually race next season, here in the States, and then do Le Mans that year.”
Button’s third choice for Readly was the 1993 European Grand Prix at Donington Park. It was there that Ayrton Senna had his incredible drive, not only the first lap but throughout the entire race. It was the first F1 race that I saw live. I was there with my father so it stands out.
The three races he picked as his last three are, naturally, his own races from Formula One. “There’s 2009 Monaco and 2009 Brazil when I won my World Championship, as well as the 2011 Canadian Grand Prix. Because everyone remembers that weekend, I had to mention it.
Canada 2011 is most famous for Button’s triumphant return from last place to win the race. The race was stopped by heavy rain and then dried out as it resumed. “In the rain, I wouldn’t say that I was the best, but the changing conditions are the thing I love; thinking on the feet and working out the right tires…it was the strategy aspect of things in those conditions which were my strength.”
Button shared his memories of how his father took him out in the rain and he would drive with slick tires when he was a child. He claimed that he was trying to teach me how to drive in difficult conditions. But I believe he couldn’t afford to buy wet tires. That was a good thing.
Readly Retros, a new series that began with the Jenson Button capsule collection, is now available. The magazine app will continue to republish classic retro issues through 2021. Ready will offer two months of free access to thousands of magazines to customers who sign up between June 22nd and September 30th, 2021.