Jenson Button’s father John dies age 70, from suspected heart attack

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Sad news from the Formula One world this Monday morning, with the news Jenson Button’s father John has died unexpectedly at age 70. According to a BBC report, via a statement issued by Jenson’s agent, the senior Button had a suspected heart attack.

The rest of the statement includes this:

“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.

“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.”

A fixture in the paddock, often seen on TV broadcasts wearing his trademark pink shirt, John Button was so devoted to his son’s career and a huge part of the F1 world. The celebration between the two reached a fever pitch when Jenson captured the 2009 World Championship driving for Brawn GP.

Thoughts and tributes are already beginning to flow in after this sad news. Here’s a tribute from NBC Sports Group’s F1 pit reporter and insider Will Buxton, on his blog. Also here’s one from former FIA Chief Medical Delegate Gary Hartstein, via his blog.

Meanwhile, here are some other tweets from the F1 community, including from Button’s new McLaren-Mercedes teammate Kevin Magnussen:

MRTI: Telitz gets creative to help racing career

Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography
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To say that Belardi Auto Racing’s Aaron Telitz has endured a difficult start to the 2018 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires season would be an understatement. The Wisconsin native only completed four corners through the first three races – Races 1 and 2 at St. Petersburg, and Race 1 at Barber Motorsports Park – with St. Pete being especially problematic.

He took the pole for Race 1, but a crash during qualifying for Race 2 prevented him from actually starting. What’s more, the damage was so severe that the Belardi team needed a brand new chassis, with Telitz’s Dallara IL-15 damaged beyond repair.

They also had to borrow a car from Carlin for Race 2, but Telitz’s race ended after he got tangled up with Victor Franzoni in Turn 2 on Lap 1.

With the damage bill well into the six figures as a result, Telitz has taken to some unique, or rather, creative ways to raise money in the aftermath to help cover the costs. “Creative,” in this case, meaning Telitz is using his art skills.

An artist in his spare time, Telitz has begun selling his own original paintings to help raise money.

 “I’ve been to a lot of art shows and I see stuff and I go, ‘Holy cow, someone’s going to pay a thousand dollars for that thing?’” Telitz quipped in a story posted on the Milwaukee Journal.

In discussing his artistic abilities, Telitz added, “I’m working at getting better. I’d like to be able to paint some animals, those types of things. I got a request from Alexander Rossi to see if I could paint his dog. Unfortunately I can’t do that yet.”

Further, in a partnership with The Styled Garage, Telitz is selling his own merchandise, and accepting donations, to help his cause.

Telitz finished fourth in Race 2 at Barber on Sunday, and sits seventh in the Indy Lights championship, 59 points behind leader Pato O’Ward.

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