Button pays his way to title
Jenson Button has admitted it was a luxury to fly on Rubens Barrichello's private jet after paying for most of his flights this season.
By Rachel Griffiths
Last Updated: 21/10/09 10:27am
Formula One world champion Jenson Button has admitted it was a luxury to travel on team-mate Rubens Barrichello's private jet after financing the majority of his own flights from race to race this season.
The 29-year-old Briton secured the drivers' championship for himself and the constructors' title for Brawn GP with a fifth-placed finish at the Brazilian Grand Prix, with just the final round in Abu Dhabi now remaining.
The win rounded-off an outstanding season for the fledgling outfit, which made a remarkable comeback from the edge of extinction when Honda withdrew from the sport last December.
Newly-crowned champion Button took a £5million pay cut to drive with the rookie team and revealed on his return to Britain that he had travelled between grand prix on budget airlines paid for out of his own pocket.
"I paid for pretty much all my travel this season," he said.
"I went on a lot of smaller airlines, but it wasn't a big deal. We all give up certain things when times get tough.
"And, to be fair, when you get a chance to drive the car I'm driving you'd give up pretty much anything."
Brawn team-mate Barrichello offered Button a rare extravagance following his title victory at Interlagos when he flew him back to Britain to celebrate on his own private jet.
"I'm not that materialistic but it was nice of Rubens to let me use his plane," added Button.
"It was so I could spend some time with the team."
Button has not yet renewed his contract with Brawn GP but following a meeting with fans at Bluewater Shopping Centre in Kent yesterday he confessed it was his ambition to defend his title with the team.
"The most important thing in my career is to be in a great car that's competitive. This year is the first time I've really been in that position," he added.
"I'm not looking to join a new team who can pay me a bigger amount of money. I want to go out and win races again.
"I want to stay with Brawn, we just haven't discussed it during the season. Now we can sit down and discuss it."