Jenson Button has admitted to having nerves ahead of his Race of Champions bow at Wembley in just under a fortnight's time, but has been told simply to go out there, let his hair down and have some fun.

The Honda Formula 1 star will partner RoC returnee Andy Priaulx in the Team England line-up for the 20th anniversary of the celebrated end-of-season spectacular, and with national pride at stake he clearly hopes to get some extra support from the 80,000 partisan fans expected to descend on the world-famous stadium on 16 December.

"I am a little bit nervous," the 27-year-old admitted at the 2007 event's media launch day, "because I don't really know what to expect. The jump looks quite scary - I'm used to having four wheels on the circuit! I've never raced with a roof over my head before either; in fact, the only time I've ever driven a racing car like that was at Spa back in 1998, but I didn't actually get to race it. It will be an entirely new experience for me."

Whilst offering some useful advice for his compatriot, Priaulx - who was recently crowned World Touring Car Champion for the third successive campaign in Macau - insisted the most important thing was just to enjoy the day, away from the stresses of normal competition.

"For me last year, everything happened so quickly, all in a blur," the Guernseyman said of his maiden RoC outing in Paris' Stade de France in 2006. "We all work pretty hard throughout the year, but what's nice about the Race of Champions is that although it is highly competitive, at the same time everyone's here to have fun too. That's what it's all really about.

"I may have a bit of an advantage being used to having a roof over my head, but once the flag drops the bullshit stops, and you've got to decide if you want to go for individual glory or if you want to be a crowd-pleaser. Just make sure you don't stop half a lap early like I did..."

"I think I will go for crowd-pleaser!" Button quipped back, quick as a flash.

Get set for fireworks on 16 December...

 

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