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No podium, but Jenson does dad proud

2014-07-07 08:05

FOR DAD: McLaren driver Jenson Button was all smiles after the 2014 British GP as he was sure his late father, John Button, would have been proud of his race. Image: AFP/ Tom Gandolfini

ALAN BALDWIN

SILVERSTONE, England - Jenson Button did his late father John Button proud on Sunday even if the McLaren driver seems destined not to stand on the podium at his 2014 home British Formula 1 GP.

He's now the most experienced driver on the F1 grid but has yet to finish in the top three at Silverstone yet, on a day dedicated to the memory of the father who died in January, he came as close as he ever has.

Fourth, after starting third, put a smile on the 34-year-old's face and he was pretty sure his father John would have enjoyed it too. "It was almost a great day," he grinned after so nearly overhauling Red Bull's Australian Daniel Ricciardo in a chase to the finish.

'VERY HAPPY MAN'

"Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn't. We gave it our all today. To get third on Saturday and fourth today (July 7) was far better than we expected. He (John) would have loved it. I can see his face now... he would have loved the fight with Fernando (Alonso) and chasing down Daniel (Ricciardo). It was the perfect type of race for him - I think he would have been a very happy man."

Button had urged fans to wear pink - his father always wore a pink shirt for luck on race day - and special T-shirts made with all money raised going to the Henry Surtees foundation set up by former champion John Surtees in memory of his late son.

Button Jnrwore a pink helmet and proudly sported a pink woven wristband given to him by a young girl he had met. "It was a great weekend, one I will remember for a very long time."

The ever-smiling Ricciardo, also hugely popular with the fans, said he almost felt like a villain for keeping the Briton off the podium.

"It did cross my mind," he grinned. "Probably for once I've got a lot of people booing me and cheering on the local lad but obviously for me it was good. I think for him as well. McLaren hasn't had a great season so fourth is - yeah, it's not a podium, but he'd still be fairly pleased with that result.

"I hope we're all happy."

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