Formula 1 paddock stalwart John Button, the father of world champion Jenson, has passed away aged 70.
Button was an ever present, popular and lively figure at Grand Prix events all over world as he closely followed the motorsport career of his son over the last 13 years.
Initial signs suggest John suffered from a heart attack while at his south of France home on Sunday.
While his son enjoyed the limelight of the pinnacle of motorsport in Formula 1, John had a deep rooted passion for motorsport also.
His career began in British Rallycross during the 1970’s when he campaigned an iconic Volkswagen Beetle, which took him to second in the British Rallycross Championship in 1976.
“It is with great sadness and regret that I can confirm John Button passed away at his home in the south of France on Sunday,” Button’s management team said in a statement.
“Whilst we await confirmation, initial signs would indicate a suspected heart attack. A close friend who was visiting John on Sunday was the first to discover the tragic news.
“John’s children Jenson, Natasha, Samantha and Tanya and the rest of the family are clearly devastated and ask for their privacy to be respected during this extremely difficult time.”
McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh was one of the first from the F1 paddock to offer his condolences to the Button family.
“He was not only a great dad, but also a lovely man, and he’ll be enormously missed by Jenson, of course, by all at McLaren, and indeed by the Formula 1 community at large,” he said.