Meet model Jessica Michibata who cried at Japan GP & is Jenson Button’s ex-wife

Former F1 world champion Jenson Button once reduced Japanese model and ex-wife Jessica Michibata to tears after winning an emotional Japanese Grand Prix in 2011.

Button won the 2009 F1 championship at Brawn before joining McLaren the following season where he became team-mates with Lewis Hamilton. And in 2011, Button recorded one of the most emotional wins of his career as he won the home race of his then-girlfriend Michibata.

The victory was also a poignant one with the race coming just seven months after Japan was devastated by the earthquake and tsunami of March 2011 that killed more than 15,000 people. So victory for Button, in what he considered as his second home due to the time he spent in the country with Michibata.

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After starting second on the grid behind Sebastian Vettel, the Brit took the chequered flag, beating Vettel’s dominant Red Bull and two-time world champion Fernando Alonso who came home in 2nd and 3rd place respectively.

And Button couldn’t hide his emotion following the race, saying: “It feels like a home win, and it's a very emotional win, not just for myself, but the whole team, and especially my close-knit little team of Mikey (Collier, trainer), the old man (dad John Button) and Jessica. Obviously that's because of the connection with Japan through Jessica, who was bawling her eyes out after the race. It was very difficult for me to stop myself from crying.”

Can you remember Jenson Button’s Japan Grand Prix victory in 2011? Let us know in the comments section.

Button and Michibata tied the knot in 2014 but they split just a year later, although they claimed they remain on good terms. She later had a relationship with American film producer Ken Kao which first blossomed in 2017 before they reportedly split in 2021.

In March this year, Michibata was arrested in Japan for allegedly possessing MDMA according to Japan Times. The model, now 38, was held after a parcel containing the drug was delivered to a hotel where she was staying with an acquaintance.

Button married his second wife Brittny Ward in 2022 after they met in 2016. The couple overcame an awkward start after Brittny revealed she didn’t know who the ex-F1 champ was. “I had no idea what he did for a living or even what Formula 1 was; I think it was kind of refreshing, the fact I had no idea who he was made it different for him. He could just be himself and not have to worry,” she said.

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