Ever wanted a glimpse into the glamorous (and competitive) world of Formula One? While we can’t get you trackside, we may just have the next best thing: Jenson Button.
The British Formula One driver, who was crowned World Champion in 2009, started karting at the age of eight and has since become one of the world’s most widely recognised sporting stars.
He’s applauded not only for his racing prowess, but also his warm, relaxed attitude and charisma. Something we learnt first hand when we caught up with Button during his recent trip to Melbourne for the Australian Grand Prix to talk Formula One, sacrifices, rivalry and sparkling wine.
Meet Formula One legend Jenson Button
Welcome to Australia! How are you enjoying the trip so far?
So far it’s been great – lot’s of fitness training, cycling with buddies, running along the river and eating great food.
What is unique about the Australian Grand Prix?
It’s the first race, which is pretty special. I think Albert Park is a great place to start the season. Australia is as far away as you can get from Europe, where most of the teams are based. The weather is normally pretty good and Australian fans seem to love the sport, so it is great to have that support.
What do you love most about Formula 1?
Driving a Formula One car – it just feels so natural, like I’m at home, away from all the worries of everyday life.
To get to the top level of motorsport, what sacrifices (if any) have you had to make to get to where you are today?
There’s no getting away from the fact that I have the best job in the world and I have been very lucky to travel across the world, but all this travelling means I don’t get to see my family very often, which is tough.
Racing is one of the most physically demanding sports. Can you tell me about your fitness regime and food philosophy?
During winter I focus on core and endurance fitness, then as I get closer to the racing season that’s when strength training comes into the mix. I also do triathlons as well. I really enjoy training so that helps a lot. I think if you don’t enjoy it, you don’t really get the best out of yourself.
Overall I try to eat clean, simple food so nothing out of a packet. I also don’t eat a lot of carbohydrates, but if I do it’s normally sweet potato, brown rice or quinoa.
I’ve seen the cool video of you and Fernando at the Chandon winery in the Yarra Valley. Tell me a bit more about that.
We were shooting a video with Chandon and McLaren-Honda, which was great fun, especially working with Fernando. He’s a straightforward guy and we balance each other very well. In the video, we’re chasing each other through the vineyards on tractors, motorbikes and the like. It’s all about trying to be the best and beat the other guy, which is what our lives have been like since the age of eight, especially since we’re team mates. There’s a great camaraderie, but also an element of healthy competition.
First three things I do when I wake up:
Drink ½ litre of water, go to the toilet, have a coffee with a spoonful of coconut oil in it, then off to training.
Best piece of advice I’ve ever received:
Never give it up. Always keep fighting no matter how difficult it gets and I think my 2014 Canadian Grand Prix shows that. It was such a tough race – I crashed with my teammate Fernando, I had a broken front wing, I was last twice and then ended up winning the last lap.
I never leave home without:
My Phone, sunglasses, Richard Mille watch and a bottle of Chandon
My favourite holiday destination is:
Probably Hawaii. I live in Monaco so the South of France is also really great, but I’ve never been to the Maldives or Tahiti and would love to go in the future.
Check out the Chandon x McLaren-Honda video
Just in time for the 2016 Rolex Formula One Australian Grand Prix, Chandon and McLaren-Honda released a short video to celebrate their new global partnership. Starring world champion drivers Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso, the video sees the pair racing each other across the Chandon winery in the Yarra Valley.