Button drives home the message
Ecstatic Briton repeats world champion mantra in long celebrations after Brazilian GP.
Last Modified: 19 Oct 2009 07:05 GMT

Button makes a small alteration to his nation's title in honour of victory [AFP]
Jenson Button was not one to be modest about his world championship victory nine years after entering Formula One as a 20-year-old.

In what he described amid the emotion of the finest race of his career, Button moved up from 14th place on the grid at Sunday's Brazilian Grand Prix to finish fifth at Interlagos and seal an unbeatable 15-point lead in the title race.

Not great news for the organisers of Abu Dhabi's first Grand Prix on November 1.

But great news for Great Britain, who have their second world champion in two years following Lewis Hamilton's victory on the same circuit in 2008.

And miraculous news for Brawn GP, who won the constructors' championship in their debut season and could finish 2009 with the top two drivers if Rubens Barrichello can overhaul Sebastian Vettel in Abu Dhabi.

Sweetest of all though for Button, who told whoever he could find on Sunday that he was the champ.

Great Button

"I am the champion," the 29-year-old said, shouted and roared to anyone in earshot as he stood with a Union Jack reading "Great Button" draped over his shoulders.

"I am the world champion, baby, and I'm not going to stop saying it.

"So it's great to sit here as world champion and I personally think I thoroughly deserve it. I am it. I am a world champion. I'm going to keep saying that all night"

F1 world champion Jenson Button

"This race for me was the best race I've driven in my life, probably. I know it's because of the emotion involved with it but also because I knew I had to make it happen."

A day after the disappointment of qualifying 14th in a rain-delayed qualifying, Button was reduced to tears of joy at the circuit where he scored his very first point as a 20-year-old.

He bawled the Queen hit "We Are The Champions" over the team radio on his slowing down lap, leaped from the car after parking up and sprinted to the pits to hug his father John, sobbing, and to embrace mechanics.

"I couldn't get him off me," said Button senior.

"He was like a limpet, crying his eyes out. He was just saying, 'I am world champion' – well, screaming it – non-stop."

Inner torment

The sleepless nights and inner torment, with critics accusing him of allowing the crown to slip through his fingers while others questioned whether he would be a worthy champion, were swept away.

"It's more than relief. You don't win the world championship and feel relief," said the Briton, who less than a year ago had wondered whether he had a future in Formula One after Brawn's predecessors Honda pulled out.

"This is the end of the fairytale," he said.

"All of the bad memories and the good memories go through your mind, not just from this year but from previous years in the sport.

"The last few races were pretty stressful for me.

"This team has done staggeringly well. I don't think there has been a season like it in Formula One.

"So it's great to sit here as world champion and I personally think I thoroughly deserve it. I am it. I am a world champion. I'm going to keep saying that all night."

Button revealed that he had felt physically sick after Saturday's setback, sitting in his room as closest rival and teammate Barrichello took pole position for his home Grand Prix.

Weird dreams

"It was weird, because I dreamed on Friday night that qualifying was going to be terrible and it was," he said.

"I also dreamed that night that I was going to win the world championship this weekend, so maybe there is some truth in dreams.

"I have come out on top. I am world champion. What other words can I use?

"It's getting boring. No it's not...I am going to enjoy this moment like you would not believe.

"You can do that when you've won, can't you?"

Al Jazeera and agencies
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