Button reflects on his career ahead of 250th GP

Leave a comment

Jenson Button has been in a reflective mood ahead of his 250th Formula 1 grand prix this weekend in Bahrain, which is live on NBCSN from 10:30am ET on Sunday.

The British driver made his debut back in 2000 with Williams, and has enjoyed a career full of ups and downs. After being the breakthrough rookie of his first year, he had three mediocre years with Benetton and BAR before finally becoming a regular podium finisher in 2004. He claimed his first win in 2006 for Honda, but the team then entered a sharp decline and pulled out of F1 at the end of 2008, appearing to leave Button’s career in ruins.

Out of Honda’s ashes, Brawn GP emerged and pulled off the greatest fairytale in F1 history to win both championships, with Button becoming the 2009 world champion. Since then, he has raced for McLaren and enjoyed considerable success, but ahead of race number 250, he was in a reflective mood.

“I’ve learned a lot along the way, as you can imagine, racing for 14 years in Formula 1,” Button explained. “The thing that surprises me is how quickly it goes by. Fifty races ago I was in Hungary, celebrating my 200th Grand Prix, which I won by the way! So, it’s amazing how time flies.

“You really do have to enjoy every moment of it as much as you can. For me, being 14 years in the sport, I still feel like I have more to learn. I’m definitely not the perfect driver yet, and I never will be, but there is always still more to learn. That’s something, for me, that’s exciting about the sport.”

For Button, the seismic changes to the technical regulations in 2014 have posed a new challenge that he relishes, even at the ripe old age of 34.

“New regulations obviously are changing the sport quite a lot, especially with these new regulations, and again, you always have more to learn,” he said. “For me that’s what keeps the sport exciting and that’s what has kept me on my toes for the last 14 years and hopefully for many more.”

The British driver will be keen on adding to his tally of 15 wins in Formula 1, and with McLaren enjoying a mini-revival following a disastrous 2013 campaign, this could be a successful year for him.

NHRA: Brittany Force cleared to race this weekend in Phoenix after bad wreck 2 weeks ago

Photo: John Force Racing
Leave a comment

Drag racing is a Force family tradition. So, too, is not keeping a Force family member down.

Just 12 days after the most serious wreck of her six-year drag racing career, Brittany Force and John Force Racing announced late Thursday afternoon that the defending 2017 NHRA Top Fuel champion has been medically cleared and will indeed race in this weekend’s NHRA Arizona Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in suburban Phoenix, Arizona.

“I flew into Phoenix early this (Thursday) morning and headed straight out to the race track to meet up with my team,” Force said. “I suited up and got belted back into my car that I ran all last season.

“It honestly felt good to be strapped back in and I was surprised how comfortable I was. I’m looking forward to getting back in my car tomorrow (Friday’s first two rounds of qualifying) and getting back in the swing of things with my guys.”

The 31-year-old Force, one of four daughters of 16-time NHRA Funny Car champ John Force, suffered a concussion and bruising after the hard crash she was involved in on February 11 in the first round of eliminations of the season-opening NHRA Lucas Oil Winternationals in Pomona, California.

Shortly after leaving the starting line in a race vs. Terry Haddock, Force’s dragster crossed from the right to left lanes, impacted the retaining wall with a very hard lateral crash, bounced off, spun, went on its side and briefly caught fire after crossing the finish line wheels-up.

While she is still recovering from the bruising, Force feels strong enough to get back behind the wheel. Getting back in the race car could be the best medicine of all, since she has three runner-up finishes in Phoenix, including back-to-back second-place showings in both the 2016 and 2017 national events.

The three-day event kicks off Friday with qualifying rounds at 4 and 6:30 p.m. ET, the same times as Saturday’s qualifying. Final eliminations begin at 1 p.m. ET Sunday.