SPEED king Jenson Button has been getting used to life in the slow lane after becoming a father for the second time last month, but there is one big hole in his perfect family.
he 2009 Formula One World Champion has spent most of his lockdown with fiancée Brittny Ward and 17-month old son Hendrix in their Los Angeles home, with the welcome arrival of his daughter Lenny, just two days after Christmas.
While the smile rarely left the face of new dad Jenson as he sat down for an exclusive chat with Magazine+ from his plush home in the exclusive Bel Air region of LA, he admits the Covid-19 pandemic has meant one piece of his family jigsaw is missing as his mum Simone is unable to see her grandchildren.
The racing star’s mother has stayed in contact with the 40 year-old and his wife-to-be Brittny via Zoom, but he says he is missing her personal touch.
“You appreciate what you have in life even more in times like this, but there are also some big things that we are all missing,” he began, speaking to us as he launched the latest range of his Dare2b clothing range.
“I know I’m lucky in many ways. Yes, we haven’t gone out as much as normal in the last few months, but we have a back yard and if we are told to stay in, then we can play with our little dude Hendrix and forget about the troubles of the world.
“The big concern for all of us over the last few months has been grandparents. My mother has not seen our son for a year and we have just had a new girl and it will be tough for mum as well.
“Our son is 17-months old and she has missed a lot of his baby toddler time. It is time we can’t get back and it’s hard to accept.
“I really feel for grandparents and people of that age, they are so frightened. Living life at the moment is not much fun for them, being stuck indoors.
“They are not getting any younger and some of them don’t have a lot of friends to call upon. It’s so sad to see.
“Hopefully the vaccines will help them get out of the situation they are in right now and my hope for 2021 is that my mother gets to spend some more time with our little kids.”
Jenson and Brittny had plans to get married in the summer of 2019, but her first pregnancy ended that plan and while the couple hope to tie the knot next summer, he admits no one knows what will happen next.
“When I look back at this pandemic, I remember when it all started as I flew into the UK the night before lockdown last March and it was like something I had never seen before,” he continues.
“We could see what was around the corner and there were drunk people everywhere.
“It was like they were having their last night out ever. That’s not how it was supposed to work, but it is what it is! Then the next day, everything stopped.
“Now we are still working out how to deal with it and we have all lived through the most bizarre year of our lives.”
Dad-of-two Jenson admits he has lived a dream life after conquering the world of motorsport, before forging a successful career as a respected analyst with Sky Sports’ F1 channel in recent years.
Yet it’s the life in LA with his beautiful partner that leaves him pinching himself over how he has managed to achieve so much before he toasts his 41st birthday on Tuesday.
“I can’t complain too much,” he smiles. “I’m sitting here in LA, the sun is shining, I have a wonderful partner, a 17-month old boy who is bringing joy into our lives and our new little one arrived just in time for the new year.
“Bel Air is an amazing place to live and if you had told me when I was growing up in Somerset that I’d be living here and enjoying the life it provides, I would never have believed you.
“I always wanted to live here, but I couldn’t make the move when I was in F1 because of the travel. I’ve been here four years now and it is a wonderful place to live for so many reasons.
“It’s great that I still have a connection with F1 through Sky and we did so well as a sport to get the races on last year when there were so many challenges to get to that point.
“We have to hope 2021 takes a turn for the better and, as an optimistic person, I’m pretty sure it will.”
• Find the Jenson Button Dare 2b Edit collection at www.dare2b.com