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Button's father passes away 13 Jan 2014

John Button (GBR).
Formula One World Championship, Rd15, Japanese Grand Prix, Practice, Suzuka, Japan, Friday, 11 October 2013

John Button, father of McLaren driver Jenson and one of the most familiar faces in the Formula One paddock, has died aged 70 of a suspected heart attack.

"It is with great sadness and regret that I can confirm John Button passed away at his home in the South of France on Sunday,” read a statement released to the press. “Whilst we await confirmation, initial signs would indicate a suspected heart attack. A close friend who was visiting John on Sunday was the first to discover the tragic news.

"John's children Jenson, Natasha, Samantha and Tanya and the rest of the family are clearly devastated and ask for their privacy to be respected during this extremely difficult time."

Button, himself an accomplished rallycross driver in his younger years, was a near constant companion to Jenson throughout his motorsport career, attending almost every Grand Prix and witnessing his son secure the world drivers’ crown with Brawn in 2009.

Paying tribute, Formula One group CEO Bernie Ecclestone commented: “As most people, I was surprised to see that we lost John Button. He is someone that I have known for over 40 years and I will certainly miss him.”