Jenson Button has been reunited with the Brawn GP car from his 2009 Formula 1 drivers’ championship victory for the first time in seven years.
Button, 36, made what is set to be his final F1 appearance in Abu Dhabi last weekend, retiring from the race early on after a front-upright failure on his McLaren car.
The Briton announced in September he would be taking a step back from racing in F1 after 17 straight seasons, making way for Stoffel Vandoorne to step up into a McLaren race seat.
Despite having a contract to race in 2018 for McLaren should both he and the team be willing, Button said in Abu Dhabi that he does not expect to return.
Button’s career was filled with highs and lows, with the most remarkable story coming in 2009 when he won the drivers’ championship with Brawn GP, a team that took over from Honda following its shock withdrawal from the sport.
Button won six of the opening seven races of the season en route to the title, having scored just three points in the entire 2008 campaign for Honda.
The fairytale story led to a number of significant moves for 2010, including Button’s switch to McLaren and Mercedes’ entry to the sport as it took over Brawn.
On Thursday, Button took to Instagram to share a picture of his Brawn BGP 001 car from the 2009 season, commenting that it was the first time he had seen it since his title win.
Juncos Racing continued to bolster its entries in the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires by signing Carlos Cunha to pilot a third Juncos Pro Mazda entry for 2018. Cunha, who finished third in the 2017 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda season on the back of seven podium finishes, joins Rinus VeeKay and Robert Megennis in Juncos’ Pro Mazda lineup for 2018.
Cunha previously tested with the team at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in October and joined Juncos for the Chris Griffis Memorial test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in November, testing cars for both the Pro Mazda and Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires teams.
“It’s great to become a part of Juncos Racing,” said the 18-year-old Cunha. “I am really excited to start the 2018 season with Juncos Racing. This fall we did some testing together and from there I was able to see how focused everyone on the team is and I even felt like I became a part of their family in no time. I am confident we will get great results together next year and I look forward to learning and growing more with the team. It will be a huge pleasure and also a great responsibility to carry the number one on my car, thanks to (2017 Pro Mazda champion Victor Franzoni) and I hope to deliver it back to the team at the end of the year!”
Team owner Ricardo Juncos added, “We are excited to add Carlos to our Pro Mazda lineup. From the moment we started testing with him in early October, we knew he would be a great fit for our team. Carlos has been very quick in testing and even had an impressive showing in the Indy Lights car at the Chris Griffis test back in October. He had a great run this past season in the Pro Mazda series and we are confident he will carry that momentum into the 2018 season.”