Autosport Awards
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Autosport Awards

Intl Driver: Button

Jenson Button proved his credentials as one of the world's best and Britain's most popular racing driver as he took the high-ranking International Racing Driver of the Year trophy at the Autosport Awards on Sunday night

Intl Driver: Button

The BAR star may have missed out on a maiden victory during the season, but his exploits in taking the fight to Michael Schumacher and Ferrari during the campaign earned him the support of Autosport's readers.

After being handed the trophy from former world champion Mika Hakkinen, Button said: "It is...I don't know what to say. It is a strange situation because I didn't expect it all. It is very nice."

When asked by host Steve Rider how pleased he was to win the award and beat world champion Michael Schumacher, Button said: "Very. I feel a little bit embarrassed holding it up because Michael won so many races this year and destroyed us in the championship but this trophy will mean something in the future when we are world champions."

Looking back on his season, Button admitted that the year had been fantastic. "It is not all down to me though," he said. "It is down to the team. We started testing in January and no-one expected us to be so quick, people thought we were running light, but we proved it with 11 podiums, second in the constructors' and me third in the drivers' championship. We are a top team."

Speaking about what a potential first victory would mean for him next year, Button added: "It is going to be very emotional, but I won't get caught up in it too much. A win is fantastic. It is most people's dream to win a race but the world championship is the aim. There is a lot of competition out there - Michael has been fantastic for so many years, but also Kimi and Montoya.

"If it happened in Melbourne it would be a special moment for everyone in the team. It is a great thing and we worked very hard for it - second in the constructors' championship and we are pushing for it."

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