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The essential... Jenson Button

30 Jul 2015

Jenson Button has seen it all during the 16 - and counting - seasons he has spent competing in Formula One racing. But what does he deem the essential qualities to succeed in the sport - and to enjoy life away from the track? From lazy mornings to training regimes and Game of Thrones, the Briton shares his secrets...

What are essential qualities of a good F1 team mate?

Jenson Button: Experience, openness and speed. I love a good competition. A good laugh is terribly overrated!

What are the essential elements of your pre-race routine?

JB: Good food and a good rub from my physio - that gets me ready for the action!

What are the essential ingredients of a good night out?

JB: Normally alcohol is a good one - but good friends are most important for having a good time. People you really want to share your time with!

What essential items must you have in your driver’s room/motorhome at a race?

JB: A bed is always useful! (laughs) Then a fridge that is stuffed with all the goodies that I like. Lots of nuts. I eat a lot of nuts for breakfast - so nuts are really important. And the ‘Game of Thrones’ series. That’s about it.

What essential items must you always have in your fridge at home?

JB: Plain yoghurt. Fresh berries - always! Eggs - you can use them for many different things: omelette, scrambled, boiled - you name it. Usually I only have breakfast in my fridge.

What are your essential qualities for a girlfriend/wife/partner?

JB: My wife - she’s got them all. You can see them! The rest is private.

Your essential tip for avoiding stress at airports?

JB: Fly privately!

What are the essential qualities of an F1 driver?

JB: There are many! I think that every driver on the grid has a natural ability - so I would say being willing to learn is what is really essential, every time you jump into the car. I am 35 and have 16 years of experience and I still have a lot to learn. There are always new things to learn - so the most important thing is ‘keep learning’!

What is essential to help you wind down after a race?

JB: A nice glass of red wine in the evening. Could be French - or Italian if I want to go big, a flashy Tuscan red wine. That’s it.

What are the essential elements of great racing circuit?

JB: It should be fast, flowing, and with some corners you need to take risks in. Suzuka basically is the dream circuit.

What app is it essential to have on your phone?

JB: Strava. That is what I use for training. It’s a running and cycling GPS tracker.

What are the essential qualities of a team boss?

JB: To be mentally strong - especially when times are tough - and understand the people that work for him. Eric (Boullier) is very good at that!

What are your essential requirements at a hotel?

JB: A coffee machine. A hard bed - I hate soft beds - and a nice bath.

What is the essential Grand Prix every fan should attend at least once in their lifetime?

JB: The British Grand Prix. What else!

What are your essentials for a good night’s sleep?

JB: Me, I train very hard and then I fall asleep like a baby.

What are the essential items you must have with you while travelling?

JB: Passport. Good book. Eye mask.

What is essential to help you wake up in the morning?

JB: Alarm clock. To be honest I would love to wake up with daylight but I am lazy and really love to sleep, so I struggle to wake up in the morning. I try not to sleep more than eight hours, as it is not good for you - you can put on weight when sleeping too many hours so I try to make it eight. If it is only seven - wow, that hurts.

What is the essential corner in F1?

JB: Copse at Silverstone. For me it’s the most amazing corner because it is blind and high speed. When you get it right it’s such a buzz.

What are the essential parts of your training regime?

JB: Cycling, swimming and running - in that order. I am a very outdoorsy person. Cycling in the mountains - that is what I love to do.

What is the personal quality most essential for success in F1?

JB: Don’t trust too many people. (laughs) F1 is so completely different to all the other highly visible sports like football or tennis. In F1 the rules are changing permanently - and you have to cope with that by being ready for changes and willing to learn.

What is your essential tip for the aspiring F1 driver?

JB: Buy a football or a tennis racket. It’s a lot cheaper and you stick with the same rules! (laughs)