John Button Death: Jenson Button’s Dad Dies at 70

January 13, 2014 Updated: July 18, 2015

John Button, the father of Formula One driver Jenson Button, died at 70, it was reported.

“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 stated.

John Button was said to have guided his son’s driving career.

“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,” the statement reads. “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 team principal Martin Whitmarsh described the late Button as a “unique and…irreplaceable part of the McLaren family,” said Reuters.

“In my long Formula One career, I’ve encountered many drivers’ fathers, but I think it’s safe to say that John was perhaps more devoted to his son than any of them,” said Whitmarsh. “Ever since Jenson was a boy, racing go-karts, his dad has been at his side, helping him, supporting him, finding the money for the next race. As Jenson grew older, and continued to win in cars, still John was always there, his most steadfast helper and supporter.”