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Button samples Mount Panorama track in a Formula One car 22 Mar 2011

(L to R): Craig Lowndes (AUS) and Jenson Button (GBR).
Jenson Button and Craig Lowndes Car Swap, Mount Panorama, Bathurst, Australia, 22 March 2011 Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren MP4/23.
Jenson Button and Craig Lowndes Car Swap, Mount Panorama, Bathurst, Australia, 22 March 2011 Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren MP4/23.
Jenson Button and Craig Lowndes Car Swap, Mount Panorama, Bathurst, Australia, 22 March 2011

McLaren’s Jenson Button became the first driver to tackle Australia’s iconic Mount Panorama circuit in a Formula One race car on Tuesday. Button completed five laps of the legendary Bathurst track at the wheel of an MP4-23 before handing the car over to five-time Bathurst champion Craig Lowndes.

“This place is fantastic,” Button said. “Television just doesn’t do it justice. 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. I was holding on tight all the way. It takes everything out of you.

“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. 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 hungrier to come back.”

The unique event, which was organised by Vodafone with the support of Bathurst Council, was inspired by Button himself. After taking Jamie Whincup’s V8 Supercar for a spin around Melbourne’s Albert Park circuit last year, he declared his desire to sample ‘The Mountain’. The Briton also had the chance to experience the track in a V8 car.

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