A Q&A with F1 Driver Jenson Button

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As a follow up to Friday’s post and as part of the US Grand Prix weekend in Indianapolis, I got a chance to sit down with 8 year veteran driver Jenson Button to ask him some questions about the sport, racing for Honda and of course, gaming. I also got an inside look at the operations for Honda Racing, so I wanted to share a few more pics here too. Enjoy!

So, Jenson you race all over the world, tell us what it’s like to be an F1 driver.
It’s great, as you know we just came from Montreal, we get to race all over the world. Japan, China, North America, Europe, and Brazil. Getting to see so many countries and cultures, is unbelievable, although the travel is always tough, and we are so focused on the racing it’s hard to get time to really enjoy the country or city you are in.

Do you have a favorite circuit?
Yeah, I love Silverstone (the British Grand Prix), it’s home and I really like the track. It’s always nice to race in front of the hometown fans. Suzuka, over in Japan and Honda’s home race is also very special. Last is Spa, over in Belgium.

You’ve been in Formula One for 8 years now, how have you seen the sport evolve from the cockpit?
The technology certainly keeps changing; they keep trying to slow us down by about two seconds (per lap) by changing the tires, the aerodynamics or making the engines less powerful. It doesn’t really work though, as we are just as fast as or maybe faster than we were before. The lap times even remain with all the new restrictions. The technology is staggering, it’s up there with NASA, and that is no lie. For me I wish they were getting rid of some of the technology like traction control, which they are next year, but I also see the benefit to the road cars as F1 technology eventually makes it into the cars that people driver every day.

Speaking of road cars, you drove the new Honda Civic Type R on track recently. What was that like?
I went over to drive the car on the track to give the engineers feedback to improve performance. It was good fun. Hopefully, they found the input helpful. F1 cars are just so fast and require so much more focus, coming into any road car just doesn’t really compare. Road cars are just so slow compared to an F1 car. The Type R though was fun to drive. I get asked that question by fans a lot.

What is in the garage at home? Do you drive Honda’s at home as well?
Yeah, I do. I have an S2000 that is perfect for Monaco as well as a new Hybrid. The Hybrid is great for getting around and doing errands.

OK, time to switch gears, you are here to play Formula One Championship Edition on PlayStation 3, are you a gamer?
Not really anymore, mainly because I just don’t have time. I used to play games a lot, but the last couple of years, it’s been tough to get to the time.

When you do have the time is it primarily racing games that you prefer to play?
Yeah, now that I have a PS3 (laughs) I’m certainly going to be giving it a go. I like the technical aspects of the game, being able to change race strategy and things like car setup are very cool to me. The hard part is actually driving an F1 car and then comparing it too a videogame, because the G forces and what not can’t be felt through the television. The visuals on the game are brilliant.

OK, last couple of questions and time to switch gears again. Jenson Button’s favorite place to vacation?
Home! (Monte Carlo) Home is a great vacation for me because we travel so much.

Your favorite food?
I like Japanese food. Sushi, tempura, all that sort of stuff, I love it!

Last question, so when the racing career is over, what do envision yourself doing?
Yeah, that is a great question and one I’ve asked myself many times and I don’t know. I think I might try a few races like Le Mans, but more for enjoyment, not work. I love my job now and I know I’m very lucky to do it.

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70 Comments

2 Author Replies

  • Button is such a bad driver.

  • But his car is sexy as hell.

  • that was a useless comment jodorowsky

  • He just wanted to be the first to comment. Good interview, thanks for sharing.

  • Keep up the blogs guys! Tell me how hard it is to drive a car that is going over 200 mph and occasionally pull over 6 G’s in corners…you tell me this is an easy thing to do…just being a F1 driver makes you a pretty good driver.

  • Very sweet. So which one of you all actually got in the car and drove it around…come on, I know it was one of you, fess up ! :D

  • Button is a good driver but his car sucks big time. It must be depressing for him to see last year’s Honda (Super Aguri)) Beat this year’s Honda. I hope they improve because they are a disgrace this year.

  • way early in the morning reading the playstation blog

    …at least im not the only one…

  • In the streets Button must rule, but in F1 he is avarage. I just had to say it! Button has what? 0 Points with 3 or 4 races this year. British press made him a superstar, i say its there fault. Come on he’s not even a gamer why interview him, interview Alonso he’s a gamer. He has a ps2 dont know if he has a ps3 yet.

  • It was great to see him win his first grand prix last year. But its to bad his team is so bad and his car is so ugly.

  • Cool Interview, Great Pictures.
    Give us some High-Res pictures please. Every pictures on this website should be clickable to High-Res.

  • Good interview. But he isn’t a great driver. you could interview Hamilton in near future.

  • Nice, I’ve always been a fan of this racing type. Just wish it was more prominent in US shores.

  • Im a racing fan also, but into good ole American muscle…

  • Cool. Good interview . . . late (what happened to Monday, Ron? j/k), but good.

  • 16th :P
    ok now F1 racing is so much better than
    what we have here in the states (nascar)
    and as to cars on F1 circut
    I like the mclaren’s

  • I rather play F1 games than Nascar games. I love F1 on the ps3.

    []^XO

  • Any F1 driver is a great driver, its the elite of all racing IMO.

    Cool Q&A.

  • It’d be better if you had an interview with Jean Girard, now there is an F1 driver!

  • F1 for the PS3 is a fantastic game, I hope WipeOut will look just as good

  • Umm… this guy says he doesn’t hardly even play games… what does this have to do with PS3? How about you spend less time interviewing race car drivers and spend more time telling us what’s been worked on for things actually having to do with the PS3… like games, Home, REAL firmware updates (in-game XMB, etc.), LittleBigPlanet, Resistance, Killzone, Beautiful Katamari, Heavenly Sword, Metal Gear Solid, Final Fantasy XIII, and GOOD downloadable titles (don’t you dare ever hype something as crappy as that duck game ever again.)

    Maybe even try to tell us something no one else already has… like, hey Final Fantasy VII is being released to the PS Store for PSP/PS3, and the PS3 version will have updated graphics and bonus features… or something amazing like that. Come on, Sony! Wow me!

  • Certainly an interesting interview, doesn’t give a lot of useful info but I guess there isn’t much that a race driver would know of that the public doesn’t and would be interested in.

  • did you tell jenson about all the delays we get in europe, did he ask why there is never anything new in the playstation store? what did he think about there being no decent games out? what is his xbox live gamertag?????? one last thing, when does sony aim to make the ps3 worth playing?

  • Speaking about racing games, did you guys hear a new Wipeout game will be announced for the PS3 in August!!!!!!!! I cannot wait. I wonder why they don’t announce it at E3.

    []^XO

  • Okay…that was a pretty worthless interview. I’d much rather read about someone who has played this game on the PS3. :-|

    And JDPoZ, Katamari is apparently XBox 360 only per Namco’s latest info sheet. Add to that the beans that GameSpot spilt, and it’s the type of killer downloadable app that needs to be on the PS3’s online service…but isn’t.

  • @Matt

    Katamari is still on their list of games here http://namco-ch.net/list_game/list.php?hid=28 and here http://namco-ch.net/beautiful_katamari/index.php

    @JDPoZ

    Some of those games are not from SCEA so they would not be the ones to release new info on them. If you expect them to release too many surprises at once, don’t. That’s what E3 and the like are for, just the way things work.

  • @26
    Katamari isn’t all that bro. I saw the video’s and that game doesn’t look anything “next “generation. The graphic still stink but you are right about it should be a straight to downloable game. I feel sorry for the people putting down $60 for it.
    BY THE WAY THE GAMES ARE COMING, STOP CRYING ABOUT IT.

  • I don’t think commenting is working.

  • Nevermind that

    @Matt

    Katamari is still on their list of games here http://namco-ch.net/list_game/list.php?hid=28 and here http://namco-ch.net/beautiful_katamari/index.php

    @JDPoZ

    Some of those games are not from SCEA so they would not be the ones to release new info on them. If you expect them to release too many surprises at once, don’t. That’s what E3 and the like are for, just the way things work.

  • Nevermind that
    @Matt
    Katamari is still on their list of games here http://namco-ch.net/list_game/list.php?hid=28 and here http://namco-ch.net/beautiful_katamari/index.php

    @JDPoZ
    Some of those games are not from SCEA so they would not be the ones to release new info on them. If you expect them to release too many surprises at once, don’t. That’s what E3 and the like are for, just the way things work.

  • Nevermind that, might have to split it up?
    @Matt
    Katamari is still on their list of games here http://namco-ch.net/list_game/list.php?hid=28 and here http://namco-ch.net/beautiful_katamari/index.php

  • Nevermind that, just can’t seem to link sites.

    @Matt
    Katamari is still on their list of games here namco-ch.net/list_game/list.php?hid=28 and here namco-ch.net/beautiful_katamari/index.php

    @JDPoZ
    Some of those games are not from SCEA so they would not be the ones to release new info on them. If you expect them to release too many surprises at once, don’t. That’s what E3 and the like are for, just the way things work.

  • @Sony guys Please tell me that this is true and that it will be avillible in the us like this also http://ps3.qj.net/Japan-enjoys-a-PS3-price-cut-with-Hot-Shots-Golf-bundle/pg/49/aid/95578

  • this ahh bisto uk homie is a xbox fanboy.. just coz his 360 blew up and he cannot afford a decent console. Boo Hoo and stfu go moan somewhere else..

    try http://www.iama360fanboyandcannotaffordaps3cozispentallmymoneyonawhitepcwithabigredcircularsymbolonthefrontofit.com

  • Lower the PS3s price…

  • That’s a nice car…

  • Good read, but I wish the pics where in high res, so I can see the detail.

  • thats pretty cool i think i’m going to play F1

  • All these blog posts about this game lately makes me want to rent it or something. It never got rave reviews on the gaming sites thats probably why I have never tried it yet.

  • Is this a Playstation Blog or an F1 Racing promotional website? Sony, I don’t care for an interview with an F1 Drivers no matter how good of a driver they are, I want in-game XMB, more multi-tasking features such as custom soundtracks in game, and most of all GAMES!

  • uhh Japan gets another PS3 price cut? WTF! What about the rest of us?

  • Skip – you should give it a go. F1CE really does capture the look and feel of F1 racing and when you turn the rain on – it is just stunning!

    Couple of fun facts for the F1 fans from Honda Racing – while we were in the garage we asked about the weight of the cars, operating budgets, team sizes and what not…

    Annual operating budget – over 400 million dollars
    Car Weight – 200 kilos (FIA mandate), but the team strips them down to 140 then adds ballast to help balance the car. They went on to explain that not only do they calculate the weight of the fuel on board, but how much weight a driver will lose during the race to make sure the car weighs exactly 200 kilos at the end of the race. Apparently Jenson Button nearly got them disqualified from a race last year, where he lost 4 kilos of body weight instead of the 2 kilos the team projected.
    Size of the traveling team – over 100 to put that number into perspective the top teams in Nascar typically travel with 25-30.
    The cars are air freighted on fly away races (like North America) with some of the equipment sent by sea. In Europe they require 3 full trucks.
    The team sets up everything you see in the garage pictures. Signage, air hoses, computer equipment, fuel rigs, etc for every race, the only thing they don’t touch or setup themselves is the overhead lights.

  • This is great news for everyone waiting for great PSN content. According to Gamasutra, developers at Sony’s San Diego studio have been given a new focus, designing three new downloadable titles for the PS3 on the PlayStation Network. According to SCEA producer Jim Molinets, his team of 30 people will now spend their time on those new products. “Because the [development] team is smaller, the dev cycle is smaller, and because our expertise level is high, we may be able to address things like that very quickly, as opposed to having to wait for a full two-year product cycle.” I got this info from gameinformer.com.

  • Just want to say how much I am enjoying this new blog. This is a bit off topic and for that I appologize. I have a suggestion that could make this site even better. Could you guys provide a email link where people could send in questions they would like to see answered and then once a week or 2 you guys pick like 5 to 10 questions and answer them? I have a question I would love to see you guys answer yet have no ability to ask it?

  • Dear Sony,
    [DELETED]. I like porn, and graphically violent media. [DELETED] for being the spineless pricks you are, declaring yourselves the leaders of this industry when you can’t even advocate for one of its biggest developers. Hopefully you know what I’m talking about, but just in case you’re that inflated with corporate helium, I’ll be straight forward, and say that to forbid AO rated games at the expense of Rockstar is a travesty, and an immeasurable disservice to everyone that has gotten you to where you are today. Hopefully you’ll get this through your skulls soon, and grant Rockstar the artistic rights it deserves. Good luck with your fascism in the meantime.
    Sincerely,
    DPS

  • hey if i wanted to learn about f1 racing i would’ve logged onto the official website so cut it with the racing crap last time i checked playstation wasnt a racetrack in Indiana.

  • Yeah, less F1, more Sony please.

    I think this Blog has a wide area of possibilities, but you guys are not using it wisely.

    You better start interacting with the customer, otherwise, like I said before, I would start logging in IGN.

    Sorry guys but when this Blog started I had so much hope on it, now I am bit pissed off. Go back to the real posts and start commenting are feedback. REALLY.

  • I think you guys should ease up many people asked for them to post this after the last one so don’t be so harsh with the sony guys.

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