Jenson Button delighted with MBE
Jenson Button has said being appointed Member of the British Empire (MBE) by the Queen is the "crowning glory" of his world championship winning year.
Button won the 2009 title with six victories for Brawn GP, the team principal of which, Ross Brawn, will be appointed Officer of the British Empire (OBE) in the New Year's honours list.
"This really is the crowning glory to what has been the most incredible year of my life," Button said. "To be recognised by the Queen and the British people is a tremendous honour."
Brawn GP was on the brink of collapsing at the start of the year, when its previous owner Honda withdrew from Formula One. Ross Brawn bought it out, allowing Button to race to the drivers' championship and the team to take the constructors' title.
"Everybody at Brawn played their part," Button added. "It was down to their expertise, dedication and hard work that we were able to achieve so much. We literally started with nothing, but had the belief, determination and passion to take on the world and succeed. Many people played a role in my world championship - and in receiving this award, I want to acknowledge and thank them for all their efforts."
Button joins a long list of British drivers who have won the F1 title and received an OBE. Next season he will join the 2008 champion Lewis Hamilton, also an MBE, at McLaren in an all-British team.
"I'm incredibly proud to have joined the likes of Mike Hawthorn, Graham Hill, Jim Clark, John Surtees, Sir Jackie Stewart, James Hunt, Nigel Mansell, Damon Hill and Lewis Hamilton as British Formula 1 world champion," Button added.
"The past 12 months have provided me with such an exhilarating journey. For 2010, I am starting another exciting chapter in my career. I'm ready looking forward to representing Great Britain on the world's sporting stage and successfully defending my world championship."