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

  • wo, 50 comments f1 racing sure is relevent to your market. y not post some interesting info like y I hear that your system wont b playing ao rated games. 4 such an expensive system, obviously a child or an immature moron of an adult who cant set child guidelines would ever b able use it. how many years have your systems been out now, no one is old enough to handle that material, lets just look at racing, we decide wats best 4 everyone. or we can look at gdc footage from months ago. go puzzle packs r the worst, biggest waste 3.50 i ever spent, and charging extra 4 online tekken is a big mistake i’m lovin my pc and xbox more everyday

  • @Dark_King

    I didn’t read the whole forum so I don’t know how many people asked for this, but, don’t you think that what I said is true? I mean, there are so much things to do with this Blog.

    I started with 500 comments and there is less on each post.

    I care about F1 (kind of really) but, do you see a F1 tag on the address bar? With so many people complaining about Sony’s lack of features and so on I think F1 should be the last thing on their mind.

    I try to make constructive posts not like some people who just send them just to say something wrong.

    I still believe in PS3 and Sony. I wish this E3 blow my head off, but come on.

  • This is nice stuff Thank you sony for providing us with a blog you rule

  • Come on guys, F1 is important for Sony and they hold the official exclusive rights and therefore have to deliver a yearly game for almost all F1 fans out there.

    Ron Eagle, I really like how you answer questions and give interesting facts in your comments, keep it up.

    One burning question though about the new F1 game.
    Rumors have been going around that Sony has lost the rights (2003-2006) and stopped making the games.
    Is this true? or is there a new F1 game coming soon?

    I would be very disappointed if this was the last F1 game because Sony advertised F1 as a Playstation exclusive and have used it to sell PS3’s… I bought one this early only for this game like many F1 fans have.

    PS: F1 championship edition is worth every penny.

  • Yeah to many F1 post that have nothign to do with the ps3.

    3 Questions

    Does Sony have the rights to the F1, this year as well?
    Will we see more F1 sony racing games?
    When does the contract end?

  • @gash, i have got a ps3 you turd or why else would i be in here.. the truth is if ps3 was so good you wouldnt be in here raving on about how good it is.. you would be playing on it. if bill gates didnt ban me from xbox live i would still be on there instead of in here talking to a mongo like you.

  • Umm… Sony, please let us know what’s going on with the PS3 today. Give us what’s new on the store, firmware update, games, SOMETHING!!!

  • Yes, enough with the F1 stuff….Don’t talk about F1 anymore unless its going to have some new stuff to download, or mic support…

    Instead talk about whats going up in the store today….It is a Thursday after all….Once again SONY is dropping the ball on keeping us informed.

    I especially love how I get an email telling me whats in the store 3 days AFTER it is in the store.

    Why not tell us what you plan to put in the store maybe the day before?? Be PRO-ACTIVE, not RETRO-ACTIVE!

  • K–

    Doesn’t matter what’s on the site–Bandai Namco sent out the press fliers on BK and it’s only XBox 360, and they’ve already confirmed it. Go peruse Kotaku or Joystiq and you’ll find all sorts of actual, current news on this game.

    And it’s the little stuff, like BK here and the whole issue with downloadable content for GTA IV only being available on the XBox 360 that is really going to hurt Sony this Christmas.

  • Virutal Gamer – I think that is a great idea and I will pass it along. As Patrick stated when the blog was started, it will evolve over time and we appreciate the feedback and ideas, so please keep them coming.

    I hear you all on wanting more news, but please realize we are all working very hard on what is sure to be a great E3 and we will have some really good stuff to share with you then.

    As for the questions with regard to the F1 license. Our counterparts over in Europe (SCEE) are the folks that have the license and I’m not entirely sure where they are at with the FIA.

  • I see Jenson’s point, I tend to lean into corners while playing F1ce, (which my girlfriend picks on me about…) maybe I could convince her to stand behind me and wrench my shoulders side to side, back and forward to ‘enhance’ the game.
    …probably not.

    I bet he sometimes wishes he could switch to the external chase-cam while he’s out on the track though :)… or turn off the possibility of mechanical failure.

    oh and I like the idea of a suggestions/feedback/questions/whatever bin, as such a high number of posts are off-topic. (I guess lots of people are simply desperate to get something off their chest)

  • hey how about you give a Q and A about how we are still waiting on the global servers for R:FOM.

  • I’ve followed Formula One for about 14 years now, and have been waiting for a F1 game of this calibre to come out for ever. I live for Formula One Championship Edition, and am a higher ranking member of the F1CE online racing community. I’m currently ranked 36/12,700+ (18th at my best), and my fellow online F1CE racers and I would love to know the exact formula which determines the rankings. We all have slightly different theories, but can’t find an explanation of how the system works anywhere. I’ve even emailed Sony w/o any luck. Any ideas? Anyone know for sure? Feel free to contact me via email at f1-p1@hotmail.com, as well as respond here. Your time and effort are greatly appreciated!

    F1P1
    “Ten Tenths.”
    G.A.P. Member & Future Champ.

  • Ron Eagle OK thanks for answering the question about the licence, but if you manage to find out more, please post it over here.

  • Non-F1 related question to SONY:

    How come the EU Playstation Store is so slow copared to the US one?

    I have an account on both and man is the EU one slow compared to the US one.

    On the US one the gfx for the different items pop up real fast, on the EU one the gfx take much much longer.

    Fix it.

  • What Jodorowsky (64) said.

    And I know you can’t answer this but is
    F1 07 on the list of E3 surprises?

  • I can’t wait for the next F1 game

  • Robin – It’s not on anything that I have seen, but the surprises are pretty big, some perhaps that is why.

  • Thanks alot for telling the truth, Ron.

    I wont be too disappointed now if F1 07 isn’t there, it’s better to hear it now then to hype myself up and only look for that one title.
    I’m still really looking forward to it and the surprises from Sony.

    In an interview with Ron dennis about his drivers not getting along he said how Hamilton and Alonso like to play games together.
    So interviewing Button about games wasn’t the best thing to do but who knew he didn’t like games?

  • I am one of those F1 fans who bought the PS3 in part because of the F1 game (and have NEVER regretted buying the PS3).

    It’s been a really long time since we’ve had an F1 game to play here in the US on the PS2 so I was really glad to see this on the PS3.

    One of the things I really like about the game is the Career Mode. It reminds me a lot of one of my favorite F1 Career Modes on a home console, and that was… “F1 – Beyond The Limit” on the old SegaCD system. What I enjoyed the most was that you had to start out with a test drive. Your performance there determined what teams you could drive for in the upcoming season.

    I also enjoyed the fact that each team was represented by their real-life bosses. Ron Dennis was there from McLaren, as was Ken Tyrrell, Tom Walkingshaw from Bennetton, Jackie Oliver of Arrows, etc. The team set expectations from week to week and if you didn’t meet them, you’d get fired! I was so excited to see this in F1 for the PS3 (the team’s expectations, but without the team managers). It ads a certain amount of realism to the game and I like the fact that I have a manager that’ll apply for jobs on other teams on my behalf.

    I’d love for this franchise to continue on the PS3 in years to come as I think the foundation is there for a great game for the forseable future.

  • ^^ It’s not that he doesn’t like games, it was that he doesn’t have time for them, which I would imagine is going to happen to Lewis if he keeps on winning. You have to remember, prior to Hamilton, Button was carrying the hopes of the country on his back – all of their schedules are pretty amazing. Those guys were all testing for France 48 hours after the Indy race ended!

  • Are updates to “Formula One Championship Edition” something that’s likely in the future through the PS Store?

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