For two years, Jenson Button and Mark Webber have been fierce rivals for the F1 world title. But reverse back to early 2001 and you’ll find awkward-charming photos of two boys doing fitness training on a volcanic island.
The location is Lanzarote, the easternmost island of the Canaries, an archipelago off the coast of Africa between Morocco and Western Sahara home to massive, unstable volcanoes and Spanish grandmothers. This is where Europeans go when they’re fed
up with the chilly downside of continental climate and this is also where Formula One drivers have their winter training sessions in January before the next season kicks off in March.
These remarkable historical photos were taken on January 4, 2001, during a very different era of Formula One. Jenson Button had just completed his first full season, driving alongside Ralf Schumacher for Williams. A teenage sensation and already with a race seat at the then-ridiculous age of 20, he would be dogged by many years of subpar cars before finally winning his first Grand Prix in 2006 and clinching the world title in 2009.