With a close second to Jarno Trulli’s Renault back in 2004, he’s out to go one better in the Mercedes-powered Brawn that had already carried him to victory in Australia, Malaysia, Bahrain and Spain and to third in China.
Ride onboard with Button as he threads the 2.4-litre V8 screamer through the first corner of Ste Devote and up what narrator and former Grand Prix racer David Hobbs describes as the steel canyon of Beau Rivage. Next he’s into the long, off-camber left-hander of Massenet and into the hallowed Casino Square, whose blind summit carries cars down to the right-hander of Mirabeau and the 30mph, first-gear hairpin, historically named Station Hairpin and Loews Hairpin. Two right-handers at Portier carry our man out on to the seafront and into the flat-out, darkened blast that is the tunnel. And if you’ve ever walked it or driven it, you’ll know how deceptively tight and never-ending it feels. Hard on the brakes into the downhill-plunge approach to the chicane, Jenson dispatches the left-right with apparent ease and charges towards another narrow, blind and super-quick challenge: Tabac. Blink and you’ll miss it as he’s straight into the Swimming Pool left-right-right-left and heading to the legendary Rascasse (no time to book a table, David!). And to complete the lap, the Brawn heads up the hill and over the narrow crest-and-be-thankful that is Virage Anthony Noghes, named after the chap who created the crazy-but-classic Monaco Grand Prix.
The laptime? 1m14.902s. Which is good enough to give Jenson his fourth pole of the year, a whisker ahead of Kimi Raikkonen’s Ferrari.
Twenty-four hours later, Jenson would hit the target with his fifth win from six starts, leading home team-mate Rubens Barrichello for an historic Brawn one-two and a place alongside the five British racers to have tamed the Monaco streets alongside Stirling Moss, Graham Hill, Jackie Stewart, David Coulthard and Lewis Hamilton.