Life to the Limits is the story of Button’s relationship with motorsport and with his father. It isn’t just about his F1 glory days – it’s about the trials and tribulations it took to get there. Its an enjoyable read and an inside look into a world that seems so captivating from the outside.
It begins with Button’s karting days, when he and his dad would travel the length of the UK competing. He goes through his career through each of the levels and formulas, becoming F1 champion with Brawn before seeking a new challenge at Mercedes and eventually retiring.
It is a racing autobiography rather than a complete story of Jensen’s life. It is obvious there is plenty of his personal life not covered – reported infidelity is ignored, and an abortion is covered only as a comment on how the press covered him.
The book is a great insight into the world of Formula 1 and the circus that surrounds it. Button gives interesting insights into some of the sports most fascinating characters – Flavio Briatorie most of all. He does not hold back his thoughts on other drivers and where he has made mistakes in his career. Shines a light on some of the stranger decisions in Jensen’s career – most notably his decision to leave Brawn just after wining the World Championship.
At times there are two many technical details, and in places it can be a little bit like a recitation of results – in this race x,y,z, happened, I finished in x position.
The last 5th of the book becomes incredibly emotional. Button’s relationship with his father was the defining relationship of his life and his career. The end of his father’s life and the impact it had on Button is at times difficult to read.
Overall, this is a nicely written autobiography. It is the absorbing story of a life dedicated to building a racing career and a fascinating insight into what that career entailed. Finally it becomes a personal love letter to his father. We don’t necessarily see the full real Jensen Button, but we see more than enough to make this an enjoyable and engrossing read.