Yet incredibly, in October 2009, Jenson Button was crowned World Champion, and the new team that had risen from the ashes of the Honda Racing F1 team - Brawn GP - secured the constructors' championship in their first season, a feat never before achieved. If this were a movie script you wouldn't believe it possible, so how did it happen?
A CHAMPIONSHIP YEAR tells Jenson's incredible story of the 2009 season, from being written off pre-season to winning six of the first seven races, and finally securing the championship in brilliant style at the Brazilian Grand Prix. Jenson's personal commentary on the races is combined with notes on strategy, on-board radio exchanges, quotes from the team and even text messages to recreate the atmosphere of each race weekend. With a foreword by Ross Brawn, it is a fascinating account of an extraordinary grand prix year, and shows just what it takes to become world champion.
That's not to say the F1 crew is just a group of highly skilled technical engineers, tweaking machinery in wind tunnels and crunching data through high-spec computers. These boys can seriously let their hair down. Whether it be parties on luxury yachts in Monaco or elaborate photo opportunities in gravity-defying aeroplanes, this is a world which thrills on and off the track.
Join McLaren's former number-one mechanic, Marc 'Elvis' Priestley as he tours the world, revealing some of Formula One's most outrageous secrets and the fiercest rivalries, all fuelled by the determination to win.
This is Formula One as you've never seen it before.
Since retiring from Formula One Mark has concentrated on endurance racing, including the legendary Le Mans 24 Hour race. He hit the front pages of newspapers around the world in December 2014 when he slammed into the barricades in the final round of the FIA World Endurance Championship in South America, and was lucky to escape with his life. But the controversy of his relationship on and off the track with Vettel, who went on to win multiple world titles, has never been far beneath the surface. Here, for the first time, Webber tells the inside story of one of Formula One's most intriguing battles - it is a story that goes to the heart of why the sport is loved by millions of fans around the world.
In his trademark straight-talking, no-nonsense style Mark reveals his amazing life on and off the Formula One race track. From his first taste of karting to his F1 debut in 2002, scoring Minardi's first points in three years at the Australian Grand Prix, through to his first win with Red Bull at the 2009 German Grand Prix and the year he should have been crowned World Champion. Mark Webber's journey to the top of Formula One was every bit as determined and committed as his racing. Aussie Grit is his searingly honest story.
Includes a foreword by Formula One legend Sir Jackie Stewart.