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AUTOSPORT Awards: Jenson Button wins British Competition Driver

Jenson Button has won the 2012 British Competition Driver of the Year Award at the AUTOSPORT Awards in London

AUTOSPORT Awards: Jenson Button wins British Competition Driver

McLaren driver Button won three times across the Formula 1 season, including in the opening and closing grands prix in Australia and Brazil respectively. He came home fifth in the world championship.

He beat 2008 Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton, four-time IndyCar champion and triple Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti, 2012 World Touring Car champion Rob Huff, Force India F1 driver Paul di Resta and 2012 DTM runner-up Gary Paffett to win the award.

Button, who previously won the accolade in 2003, '09 and last year, when he finished runner-up to Sebastian Vettel in the F1 world championship, received his award from ex-Jordan team owner and BBC pundit Eddie Jordan.

"It has been a very up and down year for us, but [winning in Brazil] was a great way to end the season and hopefully for all the guys working that'll be good for 2013," Button said.

"I had so many angry Ferrari fans, but it was nice to make Christian [Horner] happy. I look forward to doing that again many times next year."

Button paid tribute to departing team-mate Hamilton, and admitted he was relishing the prospect of becoming McLaren's most experienced driver.

"For me the excitement of going to McLaren was obviously in racing for the team, but it was also racing against Lewis. He's unbelievably fast. I spent a lot of time with BAR and then Brawn, and I know they're a great bunch of guys, so he will definitely have a lot of fun there.

"I love the role of being the experienced driver and that is definitely the case next year - I think I am the most experienced guy in F1 next year. Really looking forward to working with Checo [Sergio Perez] next year too, he has shown great speed and seems like he wants to learn, so it should be good fun.

"I think this year we've shown there is a real heart to this team. They are so passionate about motor racing, they've been around for decades and achieved so much. They are very professional but they also have a lot of fun fighting for victories. It's a big family and I didn't expect that when I got there."

Outscored only by Vettel in 2011, Button began this year's campaign in perfect fashion with victory in Australia, which came after passing team-mate and polesitter Hamilton away from the line.

After finishing outside the points in a rain-hit Malaysian Grand Prix, he took second in China, but his season was then derailed as a differential failure and a puncture led to retirements from Bahrain and Monaco respectively.

By Silverstone his deficit to championship leader Fernando Alonso had climbed to 79 points, but his form began to turn and over the final 10 races he never finished lower than sixth.

That run also included a pole and victory at Spa and a victory in the wild Brazilian finale, while podiums also came in Germany and Singapore.

Despite having to contend with two further retirements - a fuel pump failure while running second at Monza and contact following a wild lunge from Kamui Kobayashi in Korea - Button went on to finish the season fifth in the championship, just two points behind Hamilton.

He ended the season with three wins, six podiums and two fastest laps to his credit.

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