pic taken from: www.racingdiary.co.uk
Which other Formula One driver’s father is a former Rallycross competitor? What is Rubens Barrichello’s golf handicap? With which team did James Hunt end his racing career? And what was the first record to be released by Richard Branson’s Virgin
label? These are just some of the questions we thought Brawn GP’s Jenson Button would take in his stride after he agreed to be the latest participant in our personal trivia-testing ‘Ask the Expert’ series...
Q: Your team mate Rubens Barrichello is a fan of golf. What is his handicap?
Jenson Button: Ah, I know this one because I have watched him play and I’ve heard him telling me many times that he is very good. He is just in double digits - I think he has 10.
Correct - it is indeed an impressive 10.
Q: Your girlfriend Jessica Michibata is half Japanese. Can you tell us what her Japanese surname means in English?
JB: I know this one as I always take the piss out of her: ‘side walk’ or ‘side of the road’.
Q: You’re a fan of John Travolta, but in which film did he play a character called Vincent Vega?
JB: Pulp Fiction. Every knows that one!
Q: Your father John is a former Rallycross driver, but the dad of which other of your F1 contemporaries was also a Rallycross racer?
Correct - lame nickname maybe, but it is former Button’s long-time team mate Alexander Wurz.
Q: Your boss Ross Brawn is a Formula One stalwart. But when, and with what team, did his F1 career start?
JB: It was with Williams - but the year? Must have been in the mid seventies. As an engineer? That’s my best guess…
One point for the team, half for the year - Brawn actually started as a machinist at Williams in 1976.
Q: You were born in the Somerset town of Frome. One of the town’s most famous landmarks is the Grade 1 listed Blue House, which has two distinctive statues on its facade. What are they of?
JB: I didn’t even know that. Never heard of it!
Incorrect - The front of the building is adorned by two statues, one of a man, known locally as ‘Billy Ball’, and one a woman called ‘Nancy Guy’, indicating the building's dual role as an almshouse for widows and a school for boys.
Q: You won the McLaren Autosport BRDC Award, which recognises young driving talent, in 1998. But who won it last year?
JB: I should know that, but I don’t know. Whoever it was,well done!
Incorrect - Weren’t you in attendance at that awards’ ceremony Jenson? The recipient was Formula Renault UK runner-up Alexander Sims.
Q: On your official website, you reveal that you enjoyed reading The Interpretation of Murder by Jed Rubenfeld. But which two famous psychiatrists are featured in the book?
JB: I can’t believe that. Is that on my website? It is Freud, but I don’t know who the other one is.
One out of two - it was Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung.
Q: In Monaco in 2007, Barrichello tried out a new helmet design but ended up regretting the decision? Why?
JB: No idea!
Incorrect - Rubens tried out a new helmet during qualifying. A special coating covered the helmet. Although black in colour, it was meant to reveal his usual livery as the temperature rose. But conditions were cool and it stayed black throughout almost the whole session.
Q: One of your favourite films had the tagline ‘Log on. Hack in. Go anywhere. Steal everything’. Which one?
JB: Swordfish - of course. With Travolta!
Q: James Hunt continued to race for McLaren for a further two seasons after winning the 1976 title. But with which team did he end his Formula One career?
JB: Wolf. I know a lot about James Hunt’s career as I read his books.
Q: You took part in last year’s Royal Windsor Triathlon, but can you remember how far you swam, cycled and ran?
JB: Believe me I can remember! It was 1.5km swim, a 42km cycle and a 10km run.
Correct - in the River Thames, through the surrounding Berkshire villages and across Windsor’s Great Park.
Q: Brawn GP’s sponsor Virgin is a brand that comprises over 360 companies. But what record was the first to be released by Richard Branson’s Virgin label?
JB: I really wouldn’t have a clue.
Incorrect - it was Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells
Q: Brawn GP’s head of aerodynamics Loic Bigois lists just one hobby on the team’s website. Can you name it?
JB: He has a hobby? His job is wind tunnel, but that he has a hobby would be new to me.
Correct (albeit unintentionally) - dedicated team player Bigois does indeed list his hobby as ‘wind tunnel testing’.
Q: How many times has Rubens finished runner-up in the drivers’ championship, and in which year or years?
JB: Ah, 2004 I remember because I finished third. First time must have been in 2002.
Correct - two out of two.
Q: Last season Barrichello became the most experienced driver of all time. But how many races has he started?
JB: Must be something around 270?
Correct - 270 prior to the 2009 Bahrain Grand Prix.
Q: Returning to the Japanese theme, who was the first Japanese driver to score a world championship point?
JB: Must have been Nakajima.
Correct - Satoru, father of Kazuki.
Q: You scored your first world championship points with Williams, but which driver scored Williams’ first world championship points?
JB: I wouldn’t know - I don’t live life in the past and it was before I was born. Who was it?
Incorrect - it was Frenchman Jacques Laffite, who took second place at the 1975 German Grand Prix.
Q: In 1998 you won the famous Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch. Who is the only other driver on the current F1 grid to have won the event, and in which year did he win?
JB: It was Webber - and it was before me. 1996?
Correct, a well-deserved two points
Q: You live in Monaco, but can you tell us what motto is included on the Principality’s coat of arms?
JB: I didn’t know that there was a motto. I know that the flag is red and white. I must have a look next time…
Incorrect - the motto is ‘Deo Juvante’, or in English, ‘With God’s help’.