F1 World Champion flew to races using EasyJet due to budget woes

Although Formula 1 only introduced a budget cap in 2021, many teams have struggled financially throughout the sport's history.

It’s been revealed that 2009 Formula 1 World Champion Jenson Button flew to several races using budget-airline EasyJet, whilst racing for Brawn GP.

Button famously claimed his maiden F1 title with Brawn GP, who were founded by the legendary Ross Brawn.

The 2009 World Champion was set to be without a drive in 2009 after Honda left the championship at the conclusion of the 2008 season, due to the global economic crisis.

This was until Brawn saved hundreds of jobs by founding Brawn GP, who only existed for one season after becoming Mercedes in 2010.

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To join the side, Button took a huge pay cut after only agreeing an £8 million deal with Honda in 2008.

Despite Button not receiving a huge wage, Brawn GP still faced financial issues.

As a result, the entire team flew to several races using EasyJet, including Button.

This was revealed by Nick Fry, who was the side’s CEO.

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“We are using our money wisely, and that means spending money on the performance of the car and, for example, the whole team including Ross and I flying Easyjet,” Fry said, as reported by the Daily Star.

Button ended up actually leaving Brawn GP at the end of 2009 along with Rubens Barrichello, as Mercedes opted to sign Nico Rosberg and seven-time World Champion Michael Schumacher.

The British driver moved to McLaren, where he joined the sport’s other seven-time World Champion, Lewis Hamilton.

Button went onto race for the Woking-based side until the end of 2016, when he decided to retire from F1.

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Prior to joining McLaren, Button’s manager Richard Goddard stated that the 2009 World Champion wanted to be “paid on the scale” that he found himself at Honda after accepting a revised deal to join Brawn GP.

“When we signed the revised contract last year, we did so in the knowledge that if things went well for the team, they would go well for Jenson for next year,” Goddard said back in 2009.

“We are not being greedy by looking to get what they are paid. All we expect is for Jenson to be paid on the scale that he was last year before Honda left.”