Jenson Button: The life and times of F1’s oldest driver

Written by Már Másson Maass for CNN

As the Australian Grand Prix draws to a close, it’s worth looking back on the thrilling race at the inaugural Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Max Verstappen’s second place in this year’s season-long championship is a fairytale ending to one of the most adventurous seasons in Formula One history.

The crash-hit Abu Dhabi race was the last race in F1 that Jenson Button missed out on a full-time job.

A four-time world champion, the Briton retired from F1 in 2016, but he took his time deciding whether to return. A series of retirements and car failures earlier this season — particularly in Montreal — left him feeling aggrieved, but he decided that the experience wouldn’t make for an easy future career path.

“It was a difficult decision [to retire] because it’s something that’s been part of my life for so long,” he told CNN Sport in July. “But I’m sitting here now and I’m content because I feel as though I’m in the best place in my life… There is still a way for me to fulfil my dreams. I’ve retired not because I’m happy but because I don’t want to do it anymore, and I think it’s a good decision to retire now.”

Born in 1970, Button grew up in the United Kingdom as one of the youngest members of the F1 world championship. He made his debut with the McLaren-Mercedes team at the age of 20, in 1997, after winning the European Formula Renault championship.

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