Newly-crowned Formula One champion Jenson Button has revealed he paid for the majority of his flights from race to race this season.
The Brawn GP driver secured his first F1 title at the Brazilian Grand Prix last weekend when a fifth-placed finish opened an unassailable advantage over his rivals with just the final round in Abu Dhabi remaining.
It was a remarkable achievement for the rookie team, which rose out of the ashes of Honda's decision to pull out of the sport last December.
Button, 29, took a £5m pay cut to ensure his drive with the fledgling team and, on his return to Britain yesterday, admitted he had flown between grands prix on budget airlines paid by himself.
"I paid for pretty much all my travel this season," he said.
"I went on a lot of smaller airlines, but it wasn't a big deal. We all give up certain things when times get tough.
"And, to be fair, when you get a chance to drive the car I'm driving you'd give up pretty much anything."
Button enjoyed a rare extravagance following his title success in Sao Paulo after his Brawn team-mate Rubens Barrichello offered to fly the Briton back to his homeland to celebrate on his own private jet.
"I'm not that materialistic but it was nice of Rubens to let me use his plane," Button said.
"It was so I could spend some time with the team."
Button is yet to sign a new deal with Brawn but after meeting his fans at Bluewater Shopping Centre in Kent yesterday, he admitted he would like to defend his crown with Brawn GP.
"The most important thing in my career is to be in a great car that's competitive. This year is the first time I've really been in that position," he added.
"I'm not looking to join a new team who can pay me a bigger amount of money. I want to go out and win races again.
"I want to stay with Brawn, we just haven't discussed it during the season. Now we can sit down and discuss it."