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Jenson Button

Button: It was a dream to race for Frank Williams in F1

Jenson Button has paid tribute to former Formula 1 team boss Sir Frank Williams, who passed away at the weekend.

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To news overview © Button during his time as a race driver with Williams in 2000

Jenson Button says it was "a dream" to drive for Frank Williams in Formula 1, as tributes continue to flood in for the former team boss who died on Sunday.

Williams won nine Constructors' Championships and seven Drivers' titles in the 1980s and 1990s, with Button stepping up to F1 with the team in 2000.

Following a shootout against Bruno Junqueira, Button made his F1 debut for Williams to become the sport's youngest ever driver at the time. His best result for the team was fourth place at the German Grand Prix.

"Everyone within the team looked up to Frank," Button told Sky Sports. "He gave it his all. He was a perfect role model for anyone. Not just in motorsport, but in terms of putting everything into their job. He really did do that.

"There was so much respect throughout F1 and motorsport for Frank.

"We always had a good relationship. I remember when I got my first top-three start, which was in Spa, and to see that smile on his face meant so much to me, because I watched back in the late '80s, '90s and it was Nigel Mansell, it was Damon Hill, it was Jacques Villeneuve winning for Williams.

"It was a dream to race for Williams and to race for Frank."

"Frank took a punt with me"

Button had just two years of single-seater racing under his belt prior to his F1 debut, replacing Alex Zanardi at the team.

He added that Williams made him "feel part of the team" despite his young age.

"He gave a lot of youngsters the opportunity in Formula 1, me being one of them," said Button. "When I was 19 years old, he gave me the chance. A kid that didn't really have enough experience to race in F1, but he took a punt on it and it worked.

"It was a lovely relationship that I had with Frank. He was very forgiving in my first year with the team.

"He was a lovely character. He was the sort of boss who would call you on Christmas day. He made sure that you felt part of the team and that was really important for me, being such a young kid being thrown into a sport like Formula 1."

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