Monday, November 02, 2009

Cheeky Vettel pops the question as Button squirms


Alan Baldwin
Reuters/ABU DHABI

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix winner Sebastian Vettel played cheeky schoolboy to a grown-up Jenson Button on Sunday as an end-of-term atmosphere swept the Formula One paddock.
"I hear you are getting married," the 22-year-old Red Bull driver, with a prankster's grin on his face, said to the world champion as they sat together in a news conference after the first day-to-night race.
"Are you proposing?" replied Button, who finished third for champions Brawn in the season-ending race under floodlights at Yas Marina.
"I heard you will get married," clarified the German, who has already built up a reputation as a lover of English humour and practical jokes.
"You know, they write great things in the press. Thank you for that one Seb," said the 29-year-old Button, who wrapped up the title in Brazil last month, with a pained look.
"But I am going to enjoy this, as we often look too far into the future and I want to just enjoy this moment and then I will look to the future after that."
Button has been accompanied to most races this season by his Japanese-Argentine lingerie model girlfriend Jessica Michibata, with some British tabloids already wondering when he will pop the question.
Vettel refused to let the subject drop when asked later what he would be doing over the long break before testing starts up again in February. "Jenson's getting married. So he's busy," he shot back.
Australian Mark Webber, second in a Red Bull one-two finish, interjected: "And we're all invited as well, everyone. But Japan's a long way, isn't it?"
Button, whose immediate task is to fly to Beijing for the Race of Champions at the Bird's Nest Stadium in midweek before heading on to Japan for a vacation, refused to be drawn further on his love life despite continued probing.
"What's the date of the wedding, Jenson?" asked a newspaper reporter.
"I'm not getting married this year," said Button.
"You don't love her?" inquired Vettel in a voice full of mock concern.
"I think some things need to be kept private in life, and that's one of them," replied the Briton.

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