Jenson Button’s father dies of suspected heart attack

Very sad news from the Formula 1 paddock today as McLaren driver Jenson Button’s father, John, has passed away of an apparent heart attack. McLaren’s Martin Whitmarsh said:

‘In my long Formula One career, I’ve encountered many drivers’ fathers, but I think it’s safe to say that John was perhaps more devoted to his son than any of them.

‘Ever since Jenson was a boy, racing go-karts, his dad has been at his side, helping him, supporting him, finding the money for the next race.

‘As Jenson grew older, and continued to win in cars, still John was always there, his most steadfast helper and supporter.”

A statement from Jenson’s agent read:

“It is with great sadness and regret that I can confirm John Button passed away at his home in the South of France on Sunday. Whilst we await confirmation, initial signs would indicate a suspected heart attack. A close friend who was visiting John on Sunday was the first to discover the tragic news.

“John’s children Jenson, Natasha, Samantha and Tanya and the rest of the family are clearly devastated and ask for their privacy to be respected during this extremely difficult time.”

John Button was a popular figure in the pitlane of Formula 1. I last saw him in Austin and he looked happy, smiling and glad to be a part of the show. He has always been a strong supporter of Jenson’s career and having lost a father myself, ironically his birthday was yesterday, I know how difficult it can be to have such a supportive, loving person ripped from your life. Jenson will certainly feel the impact, as many men do who lose a father, and we offer our most sincere condolences to the Button family and friends of the late John Button.

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