Jenson Button interview

We catch up with F1's top man at the Yas Marina Circuit before the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

For three-day pass holders, the end of the first day finished at 4pm, when the grandstand gates heaved shut. Some are off to assume their positions at the feet of the bootylicious one; others are finding that the transport system is not what they hoped it would be (rumours abound that taxi drivers are literally taking us for a ride - one person told me they were quoted Dhs600 for a one-way trip to Dubai).

Wandering through the paddock as the sun sets on the Marina, I happen upon a scrum outside the Brawn team building. Sure enough, there's Jenson Button, the newly crowned World Champion, surrounded by a crowd 5-deep with international media. I add myself to the throng. He's talking about the week since his momentous win, telling us that he's been relaxing in Dubai with his girlfriend, the Japanese model Jessica Michibata.

Winning the World Championship before the season is over must be an odd state of affairs. How do you approach the last meaningless race? Jenson tells us he just wants to enjoy the moment.

‘I have one race left, which is this weekend, so I can really just relax this weekend and enjoy the racing ,' he says with a grin as wide as the circuit itself. ‘I can enjoy myself here in Abu Dhabi, and then I'll have a few days holiday and reflect on what has been an exceptional season.'

He's a good talker, is Jenson. Earlier I watched an interview with Kimi Raikonnen, which was a lot like watching a teenage boy sulking in front of a large crowd. Maybe it's because he's full of the joys of victory, but Jenson rabbits away, much to the delight of the human wall around him. ‘When you get away from the circuit,' he says wistfully, ‘you lie in bed at night thinking about the difficult years in F1 and the times before F1, and the great times before I achieved the World Championship. You think about the faces along the way that have helped you. You always think about ways that you can repay those people.'

Bless his sponsored socks.

‘I'm a competitive person,' he continues, ‘and I won't lie down until I achieve what I want. It has been a hard road to get here. Everyone gets to the World Championship in different ways. The way I've done it is different to the last couple [of winners], maybe, but I've achieved the World Championship - the greatest dream of any driver. I'm one of the lucky few. There've been 32 [winners] now, I think; only ten British. I've got a long time before next year and I'm going to enjoy being the reigning World Champion.'

Perhaps he'll start with a boogie with Beyonce, which is where I'm off to now, transport permitting. Click back for an update in the morning. That's when the fun really begins.

Everything from dehydrators to soup makers and spiralizers

We meet four expats living a plant-based life

These ethics-conscious brands all have ranges that don't contain any animal products

From supermarkets to organic markets, these are the best places across the city to buy meat substitutes and other plant-based goodies

The best options from around the city including pizza, burgers, Thai and takeaway

Raise money for charity while testing your physical prowess


Follow us