Button was turned down by Red Bull Racing’s boss Christian Horner and as a result drove for Brawn GP, proving to be a very successful choice as he became world champion.
‣ Jenson Button attempted to drive for Red Bull Racing’s team
‣ After being rejected, Button chose to drive for Brawn GP
‣ Honda’s F1 team was forced to exit the sport in 2008
‣ Brawn GP was purchased by Ross Brawn for just one British pound
Few people remember that Jenson Button actually tried to get into the Red Bull Racing team before joining Brawn GP. In a recent interview with This Morning, Button recalls this specific time in his career: “I tried to get out of it because the team didn’t look like it was going to exist. So I asked around and my manager spoke to Christian Horner about a drive at his team and the junior team [Toro Rosso, now AlphaTauri] and they said, no, all the contracts are done.” Unfortunately for Button, he was unsuccessful in his negotiations, omitted by the team and unable to change their mind.
Inevitably, Bad times hit for Honda in F1 where he drove from 2006 to 2008. It was time for Button to consider other team options. The ailing Honda F1 team was forced to exit the sport, leaving Button and his teammate Rubens Barrichello dependent on finding a buyer for the team. Jenson Button had no other case, but to work with the remaining team members to keep the team afloat. “We found some people that were interested in owning the team, but I don’t think it would have worked out that way,” admitted the 2009 world champion.
Later that year, Honda was sold for the nominal sum of one British pound to Ross Brawn, who renamed the team Brawn GP. “It’s a big reason why this worked out. But, we had to cut and shut the car as well. The car was made to work with one type of engine. Then we had to go and ask, plead for somebody to give us an engine to put in the back to fit it in the car,” Button explained. Mercedes eventually stepped in as the engine supplier and took over the team a year later. So, as it turns out, Red Bull Racing’s loss was Brawn’s gain.