The Motor Sports Association (MSA) – governing body of UK motor sport – has congratulated Jenson Button and the Brawn GP team who this week clinched the FIA Formula One World Championship after a thrilling race in Brazil.

Jenson, 29, started his motor-racing career in karting, up the road at the Clay Pigeon Kart Club near Dorchester, which he joined at the age of eight, winning his first competitive race in 1989.

Chairman Mike Wellington said: “He won in his first year as a cadet and quickly went on to win British and European championships.

“We’re very proud of our association with him from his earliest days of racing.”

Jenson often returns to his hometown of Frome in Somerset to visit family and friends.

After the Brazil GP he said: “Twenty-one years ago I jumped in a car and I loved winning. I never expected to be world champion because you think Formula One racing drivers are different to you, but we’ve done it today.”

Colin Hilton, the MSA’s chief executive, said: “Jenson has done a fantastic job this year and we’re all delighted for him.

“For those of us who have followed his career as he came through the ranks of UK motor sport, it was always clear that he had the makings of a future world champion.

“For Brawn GP to have come so far in last 12 months is also a remarkable achievement and says a great deal about the leadership talents of Ross Brawn and Nick Fry. It also underlines the calibre of the motor sport industry in this country – an area in which Britain clearly leads the world.

“Thanks to Lewis and Jenson’s successes, we’re seeing a surge of interest in motor sport – particularly at the grass roots level.

“We’re grateful to both of them for their support of the Go Motorsport campaign to show people that there is much more to the sport than just Formula 1.

“There are 5,000 motor sport events around the country every year and you don’t need a lot of money to get involved.

“For now, however, on behalf of the whole of British motor sport, I congratulate Jenson on his stunning achievement in becoming Britain’s 10th Formula 1 world champion.”