2009 Formula 1 World Champion Jenson Button has revealed he tried to join Red Bull for 2009, before his Brawn GP fairytale unfolded.

Button entered the 2009 season with a cloud over his future, following Honda’s sudden decision to withdraw from F1 at the end of 2008.

Luckily for Button, Team Principal Ross Brawn saved the team and together they embarked on an incredible season, with the British driver winning sixth of the first seven races en route to a memorable title.

14 years later, Hollywood superstar and petrolhead Keanu Reeves is retelling the story in a documentary airing on Disney+ November 15 – but Button revealed on This Morning that dream almost didn’t occur.

 “I tried to get out of it, because the team didn’t look like it was going to exist,” Button said.

“So I asked around and my manager spoke to Christian Horner about a drive at his team and the junior team and they said: ‘No, all the contracts are done.’”

The radical revolution of F1’s technical regulations in 2009 enabled Brawn, via its double-diffuser innovation to steal a march on the competition, sealing both the Drivers’ and Constructors’ titles, despite faltering in the second half of the season due to a lack of funds to develop the car.

Red Bull emerged as Brawn’s closest challenger in the latter half of 2009, prior to dominating the sport for the next four years.

Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull secured four successive Drivers’ and Constructors’ titles from 2010 to 2013, whilst Button switched from Brawn to McLaren.

Had there been room within the Red Bull hierarchy in 2009, perhaps Button could have secured more than the single title that he retired with.

Hindsight aside, Button’s reality enabled one of the greatest F1 stories to unfold and after missing out on a drive at Red Bull his focus switched back to rescuing the failed Honda project.

18.10.2009 Sao Paulo, Brazil,
Jenson Button (GBR), Brawn GP – Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 16, Brazilian Grand Prix, Sunday Podium – www.xpb.cc, EMail: info@xpb.cc – copy of publication required for printed pictures. Every used picture is fee-liable. © Copyright: Charniaux / xpb.cc

“We found some people that were interested in owning the team, but I don’t think it would have worked out that way,” he added.

“Ross coming in and actually buying the team for a pound, with his leadership, is a big reason why this worked out.

“We had to cut and shut the car as well. The car was made to work with one type of [Honda] engine and 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. A lot of money was spent on this car.

“It’s not a fluke that we were competitive in 2009, but then we had to get another engine and the guys did an amazing job of fitting it together.

“We went testing, we were quickest at the first test that we did and everyone had been testing for days before that.

“So that’s when it clicked and we thought we’ve got something strong.”

Button thought right and Brawn GP’s success was enough to attract the interest of Mercedes, who bought and rebranded the team for the 2010 season.

That eventually culminated in an onslaught of title success in F1’s hybrid era, which included seven Drivers’ and an unprecedented eight straight Constructors’ titles from 2014 to 2021.

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