Button hails Wheldon Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Wheldon, who died from injuries suffered in a crash at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in October, was awarded the honor at the Autosport British Racing Drivers' Club awards last night.
Button was a friend and competitor of Wheldon since childhood and said: "We grew up together and had so many great experiences together, it's an era of drivers that have gone on to achieve a lot.
"Most of the time you couldn't beat him, when you did it really did mean a lot. He's the guy you'd get out of bed to race.
"He was a fun guy, he loved his racing, he worked hard but he also played hard, that's the way you've got to go through life if you have that possibility.
"The early days were great, but Formula Ford was also very special – the first year of kart racing together and we had a lot of good fights that season."
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