Formula One star Jenson Button insists he has made a full recovery from the harrowing ordeal in which he and his wife Jessica were burgled in their sleep while on holiday in the south of France.
The McLaren driver was staying with friends in a St Tropez villa earlier this month when thieves broke into the rented property, making off with valuables worth around €418,000, including Jessica’s engagement ring. Button, from Somerset, England, married his model wife in Hawaii in December.
“You never want anyone in your house who you haven’t invited when you are there and asleep,” said Button, who arrived with his wife in the Spa-Francorchamps paddock yesterday following Formula One’s four-week summer break, ahead of Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix.
“It’s always scary but it is behind us now. We are healthy, well and both looking forward to this weekend.
“I’m sure it is not the last time it will happen to someone, but hopefully with all the reports it’s going to make more people aware and that’s the most important thing, so it doesn’t happen as often in the future.”
St Tropez in the south of France has long been a popular destination for the rich and famous.
At the time of the burglary, it was suggested that the thieves pumped gas into the building to keep the couple asleep, a suggestion later questioned by experts.
Philippe Guemas, deputy prosecutor in Draguignan, told Europe1 radio at the time: “To our knowledge, there has never been a burglary like this in St Tropez, where gas was used to knock out the victims.
“Nothing has been established. Jenson Button’s entourage has made this claim, as the driver didn’t feel well the following day.
“We have taken blood samples, which will be analysed.”
However, Button said the suggestion of gas had come from a police officer after they reported the crime.
“We are all here, safe and well, but it’s amazing that we did not realise it was happening. We thought it was strange that nobody woke up and also one of the officers we spoke to said: ‘It’s possible you could have been gassed’,” he said.
“That’s where the suggestion came from.”