British racing legend Jenson Button hung up his motor sporting helmet last weekend after his final race in the Super GT-500 Championship at Motegi in Japan. Whilst it seems strange at the moment to think we won't be seeing him race again - surely, he'll be back at some point right? - now is the perfect time to take a look back at some of his career highlights.
1. First F1 Test
Back in Spain in December 1999, J.B had his first F1 test for Prost. It would be the start of a long career in F1 with 306 race starts, 50 podiums, 15 Grand Prix Wins and 1,235 Championship Points. Soon after this test, Jenson was in the pub when he got an unexpected call from Frank Williams to test out the F1 Williams car for next year - and as it turned out, audition for the job of racing for the team. Five days after his birthday, Jenson found out he'd got the job - he would be racing for Williams.
2. First Point Scoring Finish
At the Brazilian Grand Prix on the 26th March 2000, Button scored his first championship point with a sixth place finish. It was just the second race of the season and he became the youngest F1 driver - at that point - to score a World Championship point.
3. First Podium
Then in March 2004, Button made the next big step up the F1 ladder with his first podium finish as he came home in third place at the Malaysian Grand Prix. He went on that year to finish in a remarkable third place overall in the Driver's Championship - outshining his World Champion teammate Jacques Villenneuve.
4. Maiden Victory
It all went Button's way at the Hungarian Grand Prix in 2006 when he finally managed to win his first Grand Prix. Many were thinking he would never get there after so many races without a race win, but he proved them wrong. It would be a while though before he was able to display his skills as the next two seasons in the sport were not kind to him as his cars became less and less competitive.
5. Brazil 2009
Following a shock announcement by Honda that they were withdrawing from F1 in late 2008, it looked like Button would be out of the sport as well. But in a story worthy of a Hollywood script - something Button himself thinks should be made into a film - Button made an almighty comeback to the sport alongside Rubens Barrichello as his teammate and Ross Brawn as team principle, to not only have a competitive car - but the best car on the grid, with the help of their trusty diffuser. Button had six Grand Prix wins that year alone (Brawn GP won six of the first seven races of the season) with only a single retirement. He sealed the World Championship with a fifth place finish in Brazil with one Grand Prix to spare. Not only was 2009 a great year for Button, it was one of the best in the history of F1.
6. Canada 2011
Button drove for McLaren between 2010 and 2017, partnering Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso amongst others. One of his best wins came during one of the most memorable F1 races in recent history. He started in seventeenth place on the grid, the race began behind the safety car, he collided with his teammate at the time, Hamilton, caused another safety car to come out after another collision - this time with Alonso - that saw him drop back down to the bottom of the field and had six pit stops (one of which was a penalty pit stop). The race was also suspended due to heavy rain shortly after he had contact with Hamilton and restarted two hours after this. Despite all of this however, Button managed to weave his way back through all the traffic from the back of the pack to then overtake race leader Sebastian Vettel on the final lap of the race. He led the Grand Prix for only half a lap but that was all he needed to claim his first victory of the 2011 season.
7. Brazil 2012
Button's final Grand Prix win came at the final race of the 2012 F1 season - again in Brazil. After dueling with Hamilton and Hulkenberg throughout the race, he was finally able to build a gap to them and went on to secure a respectable fifth place in the Driver's Standings with his victory.
8. Monaco 2017
Button retired at the end of the 2016 F1 season but remained as the McLaren reserve driver for the 2017 season. He replaced Alonso at the Monaco Grand Prix that year for one final race in Formula 1. Despite not finishing the race due to a collision, it was still great to see Button back on track and providing some entertaining team radio messages.
9. Super GT-500 2018
Button signed on to drive for Honda in the Japanese GT-500 Racing Series in 2018 after testing in the sport during 2017. He was partnered with Naoki Yamamoto in Team Kunimitsu. The team's win at Sugo was Button's first win since Brazil 2012. Coming into the last race of the season, Team Kunimitsu were tied for points with Team Tom's but Button was able to hold them off throughout the race and secured the Championship for the team - their first since 2010. It was an impressive achievement for a driver in their first season in the racing series.
He drove for them for a second season in 2019, finishing sixth in his last race at Motegi in early November whilst the team finished in ninth place overall.
There is no doubt that Jenson Button is one of the best all round F1 drivers there's been. Brilliant both on and off the track, the motor sporting world won't be the same without him - even if we do get to see him being a pundit for Sky every now and again. But it was great fun having him in the sport whilst it lasted.
What do you think of Jenson Button? Did I miss out any other great J.B moments that you would have liked to see on this list? Do you think we'll see him back in motor sport at some point in the future? (I do) Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.