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Button enjoys historic Bathurst run

Jenson Button turns laps at Bathurst in a McLaren F1 car
Jenson Button has created history after becoming the first man to lap the iconic Bathurst circuit in an F1 car ahead of this weekend's Australian Grand Prix.

Button completed five laps around the circuit at the wheel of a McLaren MP4-23 with unofficial times in the Australian media suggesting he managed a quickest lap of 1min 48secs – some 20 seconds quicker than the official lap record.

The event, organised by McLaren title sponsor Vodafone, then saw Team Vodafone V8 Supercar driver Craig Lowndes get behind the wheel of the F1 car to turn his own laps, with Button given the chance to sample Lowndes' V8 Supercar.

“This is an iconic race track and it's great to celebrate the unofficial fastest lap in a F1 car,” he said. “That was phenomenal. It was such a rush. Once you get over the straights being quite hard to control the car over it is such a pleasure. It's just a pity I don't have more laps to test it out.

“[With the V8] I didn't expect so much grip. It took me a while to get used to it. I haven't hammered a car over kerbs like that for 12 years so it was a new experience for me and something I've missed. I was holding on tight all the way. It takes everything out of you. It was the experience I've wanted to have for many years and I've finally done it. In a way it's probably not a good thing because it's made me more hungry to come back.”

Button's performance at the wheel of the V8 machine was enough to lead Team Vodafone chief Roland Dane to admit that he would be keen to see the Briton join the multiple champions for a race in the future.

“Jenson did a great job, jumping in our car, but you don't win a world championship by accident,” he told Speedcafe.com. “He was always going to be quick, regardless of what race car he jumps in. It was good to see him enjoying to drive one of our cars.

“I'd love to see him race one of our cars. He is welcome anytime, and I've told him that. He's got plenty to do in life at the moment, but if he is bored in the future, we've got plenty of events where we can use extra drivers.

“For sure, we'd like to have him come along and race.”


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
V8 Supercar star Craig Lowndes tries Jenson Button`s F1 McLaren at Bathurst
McLaren F1 star Jenson Button tries Craig Lowndes` V8 Supercar at Bathurst
Jenson Button and Craig Lowndes swap cars at Bathurst
Jenson Button and Craig Lowndes swap cars at Bathurst
McLaren-Mercedes F1 star Jenson Button at Bathurst [Pic credit: Vodafone]
McLaren F1 star Jenson Button tries Craig Lowndes` V8 Supercar at Bathurst
Jenson Button laps Bathurst [Pic credit: Vodafone]
McLaren, 2011 launch, [Credit: Crash PA]
Nico Rosberg and Fernando Alonso - Mercedes, McLaren
Ayrton Senna - McLaren. 1993 Donington Park
Lando Norris, McLaren Autosport BRDC Awards [Credit: Martyn Pass PR]
27.11.2016 - Race, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Marcus Ericsson (SUE) Sauber C34 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 and Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Start of the race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31 off trach and Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12 spins
27.11.2016 - Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31

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Ben M - Unregistered

March 22, 2011 12:49 PM

If the Melbourne race does eventually get scrapped, wouldn't it be awesome to move the Australian GP to Bathurst? Probably won't happen for safety reasons, but hey, we can dream...

Dee - Unregistered

March 22, 2011 12:16 PM

Button said that with another few laps, he'd just about be able to go from turn 4 to the top of the hit without backing off. Now that would be amazing to see! With the tameness of most of the new tracks being put on the calendar these days, a track that takes real bravery like this would be awesome.

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