Button celebrations kept low-key

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The Independent Online

Jenson Button underlined last night just how far removed he now is from his former wild playboy days.

Button had just realised a lifetime's ambition, a boyhood dream, by winning the Formula One world title, so you would have expected him to have caroused the night away.



Instead, Button spent just 45 minutes at Brawn GP's championship-toasting party before returning to his Sao Paulo hotel.



Once there he simply chilled in his room for three hours because, as he put it, "I wanted a bit of alone time."



That did not stop him from having a glass of white wine as he sat chatting to a select handful of British media in the hotel's cafe, where he was able to reflect on a rollercoaster season, Brazilian Grand Prix weekend, and in particular, that world title.



"I think most drivers, when they have the possibility of winning the world championship, they go crazy," said Button.



"But we all celebrate it in different ways, and for me to just chill on my own was the best thing for me.



"I obviously wanted to go out and congratulate the whole team which I did, and then I got home, relaxed and just took everything in. It was perfect.



"I was on the phone to my girlfriend, my family as well, my mum, so I was up until about 4am just lying in bed with a big grin on my face.



"It was just time by myself, relaxing and thinking about what I had achieved. That was the best place for me."



The adrenaline of the day had naturally worn off, unsurprising in light of the outpouring of emotion that followed his fifth-placed finish at Interlagos, the four points guaranteeing him the crown.



Initially, tears of relief flowed with his proud father John, all that pressure finally lifting, and then there were just scenes of unbridled celebration with the team and his close friends.



Yet despite his 'down time', Button still only managed three hours sleep as he struggled to come to terms with the enormity of what he had just accomplished.



"I couldn't sleep for any longer," smiled Button.



"I just wanted to be awake to enjoy it. I woke up every hour with a smile on my face - I've a few pinch marks on my arm.



"In my engineering debrief yesterday with Shov (his engineer Andrew Shovlin), we were running through everything.



"I leaned over and pinched his arm and he squealed like a girl. He said 'What was that for?' I said 'Shov, I'm just making sure you're awake.'



"Then I realised that I needed to make sure I was awake, so I had to pinch myself as well.



"But it's been such a memorable few days, such a rollercoaster of emotions, even over this weekend. Forget the season."



Button's only regret was that girlfriend Jessica Michibata, the Japanese-Argentinian lingerie model, was not with him to savour his moment of glory.



That was his choice, though, as he had opted to keep her distant for once so he could focus on the most crucial day of his life.



"She was gutted not to be here, but she completely understands the situation," revealed Button.



"It makes it even more exciting when I do see her, which won't be until Friday when she comes to Dubai because she's working.



"Everytime I speak to her it's like 'Come on honey, you can sack off work, you can get here, I want to see you now'.



"But she can't. She's working, and it's great she is working, for sure, but I'll see her on Friday, and I can't wait.



"Me and Jessica have been together for a year, and it might not seem like a long time, but we've been through a rollercoaster of emotions.



"She's been a big part of my life, along with my team of people around me who have put up with all of this, including my mum.



"She is in the most difficult situation because she doesn't come to many races, so for her it's tough.



"After qualifying she was devastated and very upset, so I sent her a text saying 'Don't worry mum, we're going to kick some butt'.



"She said 'Good, go and kick some butt', and that's exactly what we did."



Button's future is far from clear, though, as he has yet to sign a new deal with the team, apparently due to an impasse over money.



For now, that is irrelevant, far from his thoughts because he is living his dream.



"Waking up this morning knowing I am the world champion makes me feel very confident for the future," said Button, who flies back to the UK courtesy of team-mate Rubens Barrichello giving him use of his private jet.



"I don't know what's going to happen in the future, and at the moment I don't care because I'm not thinking about it.



"I'm thinking about the moment, and I'm going to enjoy this moment for a very long time.



"For me, as a driver and a sportsman, winning the world title is the best thing you can possibly win, and I've achieved that."



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