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Jenson Button and Ross Brawn given New Year honours

Jenson Button and Ross Brawn
Button and Brawn were honoured for their 2009 double title success

Formula 1 world champion Jenson Button says being appointed MBE in the New Year's Honours list is the "crowning glory" of his life-changing year.

The Somerset-born driver claimed a maiden world title with Brawn GP, whose success in the team championship also earned principal Ross Brawn an OBE.

"This really is the crowning glory to what has been the most incredible year of my life," said Button, 29.

Brawn, 55, added: "I am surprised and delighted to receive the award."

Button notched up six victories and three further podiums on his way to the 2009 world title.

His achievement came less than a year after his employers Honda pulled out of F1, leaving him facing an uncertain future.

A management buy-out led by Brawn saved the team, which was renamed Brawn Grand Prix.

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Brawn surged on to fairytale success in 2009, capturing both the drivers' and constructors' crowns.

"Everybody at Brawn played their part," added Button. "It was down to their expertise, dedication and hard work that we were able to achieve so much.

"We literally started with nothing, but had the belief, determination and passion to take on the world and succeed.

"Many people played a role in my world championship - and in receiving this award, I want to acknowledge and thank them for all their efforts.

"To be recognised by the Queen and the British people is a tremendous honour."

Ross Brawn's contribution to the team's 2009 success and to motorsport in general saw the 55-year-old Mancunian, who now lives in Oxfordshire, appointed OBE.

"Receiving this award is a great personal honour for me," added Brawn, who has worked in F1 for more than 20 years.

The past 12 months have provided me with such an exhilarating journey - for 2010 I'm starting another exciting chapter

Jenson Button

"However, it is only through the dedication and commitment of the many talented people I have worked with and the unstinting support of my family which have led to this award.

"I am very grateful to everyone involved and pleased that the achievements of everyone at Brawn have been recognised in this way."

Before joining Honda, Brawn was technical director for Benetton and Ferrari where he oversaw all seven of Michael Schumacher's world titles.

The pair have now been sensationally reunited at Brawn, which will race under its new guise of Mercedes in 2010.

Schumacher joined Mercedes after Button chose to sign for McLaren in 2010 and race alongside 2008 champion Lewis Hamilton.

Button followed Hamilton as the 10th British world champion in the sport's history and now the pair become the first British champions to race as team-mates since Graham Hill joined Jim Clark at Lotus in 1968.

"I'm incredibly proud to have joined the likes of Mike Hawthorn, Graham Hill, Jim Clark, John Surtees, Sir Jackie Stewart, James Hunt, Nigel Mansell, Damon Hill and Lewis Hamilton as British Formula 1 world champion," Button added.

"The past 12 months have provided me with such an exhilarating journey. For 2010, I am starting another exciting chapter in my career.

"I'm ready looking forward to representing Great Britain on the world's sporting stage and successfully defending my world championship."



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see also
Lions legend McGeechan knighted
31 Dec 09 |  Sport Homepage
Brilliant Button clinches title
18 Oct 09 |  Formula 1
Brawn win title in debut F1 year
18 Oct 09 |  Formula 1


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