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Last Updated: Tuesday, 5 October, 2004, 09:58 GMT 10:58 UK
Jenson Button
Coming of age

Jenson Button
Born: 19/1/80
Nationality: British
First GP: Australia 2000
Best result: 2nd
2004 position: 3rd
Previous teams: Williams, Benetton/Renault
If 2003 was the year when Jenson Button rebuilt his career, then 2004 was the time he fulfilled his potential.

This is the first time the Briton has had a competitive car since his debut for Williams four years ago.

The 24-year-old has impressed for much-improved BAR, producing a season of great maturity, and is without doubt a potential Grand Prix winner.

The only cloud on his year has been the badly handled decision to switch to Williams in 2005.

Whatever the reasons behind the decision, Button did himself no favours in failing to tell BAR of his plans and hiding in Monaco avoiding answering his phone when they did find out.

It was a great shame, for after years in which his initial potential had seemed to dim, Button has finally emerged as a serious contender in 2004.

In doing so, he has built on 2003, when he shrugged off team-mate Jacques Villeneuve's early-season attempts to unsettle him psychologically and emerged as BAR's more convincing performer.

That was exactly what Button needed, and he showed the sort of character he will require if he wants to prove he can become a future champion.

His dismal time at Benetton/Renault - which saw him utterly annihilated by Giancarlo Fisichella then outpaced in qualifying by Jarno Trulli in consecutive seasons - is starting to seem a distant memory.

Solid displays and a slightly less cock-sure attitude have done him the power of good.

He has also learned to pay less attention to the frivolous attachments of fame, and more to the job that enabled him to enjoy them.

That focus and maturity has probably been key to his success in 2004.

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