December 4, 2008, proved a momentous day in the career of Jenson Button, for it was then he knew that the Honda Racing Team – for whom he’d been competing since 2006 – was pulling the pin on its entire F1 operation, just months before the new season was to get underway.
The move was one of many the sport suffered as it began to feel the effects of the global financial downturn, and it would threaten the livelihoods of team members, and in all likelihood, see Button lose his race seat.
And yet, less than ten months later, Button found himself crowned the 2009 World Champion, and the outfit that had risen from Honda’s ashes – Brawn GP – had secured an incredible Constructors’ Championship victory to boot, and in their first season.
Such success was simply unheralded, and unless you were there watching the 2009 F1 season unfold, it beggars belief at times.
A Championship Year is Jenson’s account of that ten-month period, in a warts-and-all book summarising the team’s fall and recovery, and how it plotted its path to its, and his, ultimate success.
Split into chapters covering each of the season’s eighteen races, Button describes in detail the incidents from the weekend, and offers an excellent insight into the pressures of being a Grand Prix driver.
There are some nice features in the title – a sample of the text messages he received from his friends and family during each weekend is a particular stand-out – and the book (also available has a hardcover) reads well for its core market of F1 fans.
Some of the content – particularly once you gain familiarity with the structure of each chapter – does become a bit repetitive (specifically some of the technical and tactical pieces), but all in all, it’s neatly-written and easy-to-read.
Using our unique ‘Chequered Flags’ rating system, we award A Championship Year…
OUT OF A POSSIBLE FIVE.
A Championship Year is available from most major booksellers. Our review copy was supplied to us by Hachette Australia.