Button does first lap of Bathurst in an F1 car

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Jenson Button, McLaren MP4-23, Mount Panorama, Bathurst, 2011

Jenson Button, McLaren MP4-23, Mount Panorama, Bathurst, 2011

Jenson Button became the first driver to lap the famous Mount Panorama circuit, home of the Bathurst 1000, in an F1 car.

Speaking at the event ahead of this weekend’s Australian Grand Prix Button said: “These guys are crazy ?ǣ they really are. This place is fantastic. Television just doesn?t do it justice.”

Button did five laps in a 2008 McLaren MP4-23.

V8 Supercar driver Craig Lowndes also did five laps at the wheel of the car. He said: “When I first went out it was the acceleration but when you go through turn two you really realise how much acceleration you have. In comparison the V8 seems to labour up the mountain.”

Button also got to drive a Holden Commodore V8 as raced by Lowndes. Button said: “As a driver you have your favourite tracks. Like Macau and Silverstone for instance.

“But this is the one I haven?t had the possibility of driving and I?m going to fulfil a childhood dream in not only a V8 but also in a Formula 1 car ?ǣ which I think is pretty special myself.

“This is an iconic race track and it?s great to celebrate the unofficial fastest lap in a F1 car. 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.”

Button said he was surprised by how much he could attack the circuit driving the Commodore: “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 in Bathurst pictures

Button in Bathurst video

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81 comments on Button does first lap of Bathurst in an F1 car

  1. Bartholomew said on 22nd March 2011, 20:17

    That looks great, and good advertising for Vodafone.
    Wish Ferrari or someone would do a couple of laps at the Isle of Man.

  2. V8mate said on 22nd March 2011, 20:43

    Simply awesome great to see, always wondered what f1 would be like around the mighty mountain !!

  3. GQsm said on 22nd March 2011, 21:14

    Keith – According to the video Button did a best lap of 1:48.500 and Lowndes’ best lap was only “a second slower than Button’s” can you squeeze that in the article somewhere.
    The lap time was the first bit of info I wanted and I am guess others who know anything about the circuit would be interested in the F1 car laptop.

  4. Butler258 said on 22nd March 2011, 22:45

    Maybe in a few years F1 cars will be so safe that they will be able to run around tracks like Bathurst in race? Or is that me having a stupid thought?

  5. junarsports (@junarsports) said on 22nd March 2011, 22:58

    Here you can check the number of victories, podiums, number of gps, pole positions, fastest laps and career points of Jenson Button http://bit.ly/hT8wBi

  6. John H said on 22nd March 2011, 23:17

    Without wishing to be boring, if Jenson had crashed and injured himself – a possibility as he was going for quick laps and didn’t want to be shown up by a non-F1 driver, this could have been similar to the Kubica incident.

    Don’t get me wrong, I think that drivers should be able to have fun, do what they want, etc… but I also question what McLaren are doing with Jenson just a week before the season starts.

  7. wasiF1 (@wasif1) said on 23rd March 2011, 2:06

    One of the best circuit in the world,I better watch an F1 race there then in Valencia.It has everything,the fast corners,nature, good straight.If they want to drop Melbourne this is one place they should go given the fact that they make it FIA standard.

  8. Kieran said on 23rd March 2011, 2:32

    and the fact after turn 2 is a steep up hill climb, and he’s comparing how much quicker the f1 car accelerates up the hill, compared to the v8 supercar…

  9. Alex said on 23rd March 2011, 7:48

    adelaide lap record, f1 1:15 Damon Hill 1993, V8 supercar James Courtney 1:21 2010, not bad for a taxi.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rmGEvRFQcqU

  10. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 23rd March 2011, 13:24

    I’ve never seen this track before and it looks fantastic :D Some great, dramatic elevation changes. Does look a little on the narrow side for F1 though.

  11. YeaMon said on 23rd March 2011, 19:45

    Ugh, it still makes me mad that Team Vodafone switched to Holden.

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