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Jenson Button’s father John dies age 70, from suspected heart attack

Jan 13, 2014, 11:46 AM EDT

F1 Grand Prix of Singapore Getty Images

Sad news from the Formula One world this Monday morning, with the news Jenson Button’s father John has died unexpectedly at age 70. According to a BBC report, via a statement issued by Jenson’s agent, the senior Button had a suspected heart attack.

The rest of the statement includes this:

“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.

“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.”

A fixture in the paddock, often seen on TV broadcasts wearing his trademark pink shirt, John Button was so devoted to his son’s career and a huge part of the F1 world. The celebration between the two reached a fever pitch when Jenson captured the 2009 World Championship driving for Brawn GP.

Thoughts and tributes are already beginning to flow in after this sad news. Here’s a tribute from NBC Sports Group’s F1 pit reporter and insider Will Buxton, on his blog. Also here’s one from former FIA Chief Medical Delegate Gary Hartstein, via his blog.

Meanwhile, here are some other tweets from the F1 community, including from Button’s new McLaren-Mercedes teammate Kevin Magnussen:

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