World champion Jenson Button won a prestigious Laureus award on Wednesday evening, the Briton receiving the Breakthrough of the Year accolade.
Button took the world title last year after his Brawn GP team was rescued by an eleventh-hour deal following the withdrawal of Honda from the Formula 1.
"Wow, I think somebody forgot to tell Laureus I'm 30-years-old," joked Button. "Breakthrough Sportsman!
"In fact, 2009 was a very special year of my life. When I started the season I didn't think I'd actually be racing in Formula 1. So to clinch the title with Brawn GP in our first year was a very emotional experience for me, and the team deserve some of the credit for this trophy.
"I would also like to thank the Laureus Academy for putting me forward for this award. his is perfect for wrapping up my 2009 championship."
Brawn GP also won a Laureus after being named World Team of the Year.
"It's a huge honour to be collecting this Award," said Nick Fry, CEO of the Brackley-based squad. "Unfortunately, Ross Brawn, my partner in crime, has to send his apologies. He had an equally important trophy to pick up (an OBE) from the Queen at Buckingham Palace.
"A year ago we had a team owner that needed to get out of Formula 1. We had no sponsors and things looked fairly grim. Our 719 employees decided to build the car regardless, even though they may not have had jobs and the car may not have got on the grid. The two drivers also continued training, despite the fact that they might have had to watch the races on television.
"We all decided to fight. We had no engine, but Mercedes-Benz came to our rescue and provided us with the best engine in Formula 1. Sponsors then came on board - people showed faith in us. We ended up winning six of the first seven races and winning the Constructors' and Drivers' Championships."
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