Former Formula One world champion Jenson Button joins hosts Jason Plato and Dave Vitty on the award-winning podcast Fuelling Around to discuss his career and what it was like to work with Keanu Reeves for the Brawn: The Impossible Formula 1 Story documentary on Disney +.
Button was the lead driver for Brawn-Mercedes when he won the 2009 F1 world championship in what was the sports ultimate underdog story, as the smallest team on the grid that was sold for just £1, beat their uber-rich rivals to both the Drivers and the Constructors’ championships.
Jenson Button on teaming up with Keanu Reeves
The 43-year-old detailed on the podcast what it was like to work with the Hollywood superstar and whether he had a prior connection with The Matrix and John Wick star before making the four-parter.
“It’s scary that it’s 15 years ago, but life just takes over and you move on, and you do new things, and you have kids, and you get married and you don’t look at the past as much as probably we should, especially with things you’ve achieved,” Button said.
“Keanu and his team got in touch and said ‘we’d like to do a documentary about the 2009 season.’
“Supposedly Keanu heard about it from a friend and they said ‘did you ever hear about this 2009 year where this team was bought for £1 and they won the world championship?’ And Keanu’s like ‘what?!’
“He looked into it, and got into it and as Keanu does, just went head first into making it. He did such a good job, he really really did, of bringing this amazing year into a story and he got the interviews that he wanted, and interviews that not many other people probably could.
“He loves his cars, he loves his bikes, he loves competition and he loves sport. And I think more importantly, he loves a good story. And he definitely had a good starting point.
“It’s lovely that it’s documented because it gives me time to stop and look back and remember that year. It’s also great because I’ve got kids now and they get to see me race.
“It’s lovely and it is emotional and there’s millions of new fans of this sport. And they’ve seen Red Bull and Mercedes fight for victories and championships, but they would think this is implausible that a small team bought for £1 could fight against the big teams, but it happened!
“I mean if this was a movie, you would say ‘well that doesn’t work because that’s never gonna happen’. It’s such an important year in the sport and it’s documented very well by Keanu and his team.
“He (Keanu) had been to a couple of F1 races, so I’d met him. But then we had lunch in LA, he talked me through it and I saw his excitement, so when we started filming, I didn’t expect anything but the best.
“He was awesome. He knew everything he needed to know and he knew how to extract the right answers from his questions. He did a great job.”
Plenty more episodes of Fuelling Around to enjoy
Series seven is approaching the halfway mark, but if you haven’t listened to Fuelling Around before, you’ll be glad to know there’s a wealth of previous episodes from six series, and the current seventh, for you to listen to.
A host of celebrity guests have littered the award-winning podcast that has so far produced a string of excellent shows to listen to.