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Button pays tribute to Brawn staff at Brackley 22 Oct 2009

Jenson Button celebrates at the Brawn GP factory, Brackley, UK, 22 October 2009. © Brawn GP Jenson Button celebrates at the Brawn GP factory, Brackley, UK, 22 October 2009. © Brawn GP Jenson Button celebrates at the Brawn GP factory, Brackley, UK, 22 October 2009. © Brawn GP Jenson Button celebrates at the Brawn GP factory, Brackley, UK, 22 October 2009. © Brawn GP

Newly-crowned world champion Jenson Button made a moving return to Brawn GP’s UK headquarters in Brackley on Wednesday to pay tribute to the men and women behind his title-winning success. With the team having also wrapped up the constructors’ crown at last weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix, there was plenty to celebrate.

Entering the factory’s auditorium to a recording of his own post-race rendition of ‘We are the Champions’, Button was warmly welcomed by 450 Brawn staff, and went on to toast the team’s success and thank them for his own.

“That’s why I didn’t have a voice for two days after the race!” he said. “I’m really here today to say a massive well done and thank you to everyone at the team. We’ve worked so hard for these achievements for so many years. Some of us were here from the beginning back in 1998 and I arrived halfway through our journey in 2003 but everyone has put so much work in.

“I know that there have been a lot of very difficult times and over the winter there were times when we didn’t think that we would be here at all. It’s very sad that not everyone can be here who worked on this fantastic car. But the team had to become smaller to continue and together we produced a car that has been exceptional this season.

“To be able to achieve the constructors’ and the drivers’ championships in our first year, especially after such a difficult winter, is an amazing achievement. It’s been a rollercoaster of emotions. The first few races were magnificent. It looked like it was a walk in the park but it really wasn’t. Then we had some difficult races, especially myself but also as a team where we struggled. But we fought back hard and when we needed to improve the car, you guys did it.”

Although team mate Rubens Barrichello and team principal Ross Brawn were unable to attend the reception, Button made sure to pay tribute to their contributions.

“Rubens gave us two more wins in Valencia and Monza at an important time to boost our morale and prove just how quick the car was. We have a great leader, a fantastic leader, in Ross. The Big Bear can’t be here today but I know that when he gets back, he’ll be celebrating with you! We proved in Brazil last weekend that we deserve these championships.

“We’ve fought so hard and a championship season is about achieving the results when you need to. We’ve had some difficult races but we always did the best job that we could. So we should raise our glasses as the new Formula One world champions of 2009. We’ve done what we set out to achieve. It really is going to take some time to sink that we are there. Celebrating our victories here with you means so much to me and we are really going to enjoy this moment. Thank you so very much for your amazing contribution to our successes.”