Taking a break from his relentless Formula 1 schedule, Jenson’s Button’s visit to Buckingham Palace today to receive his MBE was a rare moment to pause for thought. In every way, this was a day to take in and savour all that has happened to the 30-year-old world champion over the past 18 months.
Barely off the plane from Istanbul, Turkey, and deeply embroiled in the most fiercely contested world championship battle for years – a contest that has already seen him take two victories and consolidate his position as a title challenger – Jenson’s visit to the Palace was an emotional occasion.
“The last 18 months have been an incredible period in my life,” said Jenson Button. “Starting last year facing almost impossible odds, I achieved my childhood dream of winning the Formula 1 world championship and I’m now driving for one of the greatest teams in the sport.
“To also be recognised by Her Majesty the Queen and the British people is the greatest honour I could possibly imagine.
“My whole life in motorsport has been an incredible journey. When I started karting as an eight-year-old boy, I could only dream of racing in Formula 1, or becoming world champion. Even now, those dreams still feel unbelievable and fantastic to me.
“To visit Buckingham Palace today is another huge step along that journey. To be awarded the MBE by Her Majesty the Queen is a very great honour for me, and a significant milestone in my life. Today makes me incredibly proud to be British, and to be able represent my country on the world’s stage.
“Being Formula 1 world champion, and receiving the MBE today, carries with it great responsibility that I am proud to take on and uphold.”