Prime Minister Gordon Brown has led the tributes to newly-crowned F1 champion Jenson Button.
Last Updated: 18/10/09 11:23pm
Prime Minister Gordon Brown has led the tributes to Jenson Button after the Brit clinched the world title in Brazil.
The Brawn GP driver finished fifth at Interlagos to finally take the crown having led the way ever since the opening race of the 2009 campaign.
Button becomes the 10th Briton to claim the honour, taking over from compatriot Lewis Hamilton, who finished the race third. It is the first time in 40 years Britain has had back-to-back world champions since Graham Hill and Sir Jackie Stewart.
Stewart himself has praised Button for his superb achievement...here skysports.com picks out some of the tributes paid to the 29-year-old.
Sir Jackie Stewart
"A big congratulations to Jenson Button, he did everything he had to do today.
"He picked up nine places from his lowly grid position, he came through to clinch the world championship, it's always better to get it under your belt.
"I couldn't be happier for Jenson, it's 40 years since there's been a British champion back-to-back.
"I was that person, I took it over from Graham Hill, he's now taken it over from Lewis Hamilton. He must be really thrilled."
Motor Sports Association (MSA) chief executive Colin Hilton
"Jenson has done a fantastic job this year and we are all delighted for him.
"For those of us who have followed his career as he came through the ranks of UK motor sport, it was always clear that he had the makings of a future world champion.
"The team have obviously given him the right equipment this year and he has delivered spectacularly."
Prime Minister Gordon Brown
"I want to send my warmest congratulations to Jenson Button for clinching the Formula One drivers' championship today in Brazil, on the same circuit that Lewis Hamilton won the drivers' championship last year.
"We can be proud that Jenson is the 10th British driver to win the title.
"His performances over the season with the new Brawn team have excited Formula One fans in Britain and across the world, and we look forward to his continuing success in the seasons ahead."
Sports minister Gerry Sutcliffe
"This is a terrific achievement by Jenson Button, realising his potential and answering the critics to become the 10th Briton to win the Formula One world championship.
"He has shown real resilience in the second half of the championship after dominating the opening Grand Prix.
"We are fortunate and privileged to have two drivers able to compete at the highest level of the sport and so many constructors continuing to make Britain their home.
"I hope this success will be a real boost for the sport in this country and make a new generation want to follow in the footsteps of Jenson and Lewis."
Damon Hooton - Mayor of Frome (Button's home town)
"It is a marvellous time for him and his family and so many people in Frome have supported him all the way. He has put Frome on the map, he is the Frome Flyer and wherever he is talked about Frome is mentioned.
"He comes back to the town quite a lot to visit his family so everybody feels as if they know him, and he accepts that everyone wants to be his best mate.
"There will be recognition for what Jenson has done for sport and for Frome. We can give honorary freedom of the town but I wouldn't want to pre-empt a committee decision.
"We'll get the elation and the emotion over and done with and then consider what we can do for Jenson."
Driving instructor Roger Brunt (who taught Button)
"Jenson was a very good pupil, he wasn't a boy racer but he had a quick mind and was very concentrated.
"He was driving go-karts from the age of eight so it didn't take much to teach him how to drive a car. He's the biggest success story from my driving school.
"All he talked about was being an F1 driver and being the world champion, his
dreams have come true."