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Passion for Sport


This year's competition is being supported by more top sports stars than ever before. Find out a bit more about them...

Darren Campbell Andrew Flintoff Denise Lewis
Marcus Trescothick Darren Gough Mark Bright
Tanni Grey-Thompson Jonny Wilkinson Robbie Paul
Stephen Hendry Lee Westwood Henry Paul
Frankie Dettori Jenson Button Jane Sixsmith

Jenson Button
Jenson Button

"The BBC's Passion for Sport 2001 is a great cause and I'm pleased to be associated with such a worthwhile project. It's good to see more opportunities and activities being made available to children through Passion for Sport.

"When I was younger, there were a lot of sports I thought I'd have liked to have tried, although I'm pleased I stuck with motor racing!"

  • Somerset-born Jenson Button's racing career began as a child when he got a kart for Christmas. He took part in his first kart race when he was eight, winning easily, and went on to win seven British championships between the ages of nine and 14.

  • He is highly regarded by both the Schumacher brothers. Formula 1 world champion Michael rates Jenson as having the "most potential of all," while Ralf said he was the best team-mate he'd ever had.

  • Love of motor sports obviously runs in the blood - his father John was a successful rallycross driver in the Seventies.

  • In 1998, aged 18, Jenson moved up from karts to Formula Ford, winning seven races, including the unofficial world championship and was named the McLaren Autosport Young Driver of the Year. The following year he stepped up to Formula 3 before being signed up by the Williams team to become the youngest British driver ever to compete in Formula 1. The 2000 Australian Grand Prix marked his F1 debut.

  • He will be driving for his new team Benetton in the 2001 season - he's on loan from the Williams team until 2002.

  • Surprisingly, Jenson failed his driving test first time around - he passed on the second attempt.

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