Formula One Fantasy - McLarens Jenson Button 17 Aug 2011
With seven pole positions, 36 podium finishes, 11 Grand Prix wins and a world title to his name, Jenson Button is no stranger to success, the spoils of which he has never been shy of enjoying. But that doesnt mean hes short on inspiration when it comes to imagining his F1 fantasies. Combine just a few and Button would be racing the legendary McLaren MP4-4 alongside James Hunt around a Roppongi street circuit, before clinching the title and heading to Hawaii
Q: You must choose a city for a new Formula One street circuit. Which city, anywhere in the world, do you choose, and why?
Jenson Button: That would be Tokyo. I love Tokyo. They have pretty good roads so it would make a great circuit. Imagine a track in the streets of the super hip Roppongi area. Wow.
Q: If you could choose one former world champion as your team mate, who would you choose and why?
JB: James Hunt. I think we would have a great time.
Q: Formula One innovations of the past: ground effect, active suspension, turbocharging, six wheels, the list goes on. If you could bring back one past innovation, what would it be and why?
JB: I never liked these cars so overdone with electronics. I like a loud and fast engine - I would probably opt for bringing back the V10 engines. 850 horsepower - that was quite something! But that is, of course, the viewpoint of a passionate racer. I am aware that we have to look the environmental way - to show that we care - so I think that Formula One is going in the right direction with the smaller engines. But of course the petrol head within me still fancies the big engines.
Q: What innovations would you like to see in the future?
JB: Less aerodynamics and more mechanical grip. And bring refuelling back.
Q: You can only drive at one circuit for the rest of your life. Which circuit, past or present from anywhere in the world, do you choose?
JB: Probably Suzuka. Its close to Tokyo and a fantastic track on top. When not looking that far east, I would probably choose Spa.
Q: Maserati, Alfa Romeo, Tyrrell, March - just some of the teams that have departed the sport. Which former team would you most liked to have raced for and why?
JB: Hesketh Racing. They truly knew how to have a great time. They were very serious when they went racing - taking the mickey out of other teams - but they were also serious about having a good time.
Q: You have to design a new F1 circuit, combining all your favourite corners from other tracks around the world. Which three corners are top of your list and why?
JB: Can I take three sections? It would definitely be Becketts (at Silverstone) and Eau Rouge (at Spa), even if its not a real corner any more - theyve made it too easy with their modifications. My track would probably have a lot Silverstone parts - we all love high-speed corners. Okay, I would also add some Suzuka parts.
Q: You can travel back in time and compete in any decade of Formula One racing, from the 1950s to the 1990s. Which decade would you choose and why?
JB: Having only raced from 2000 onwards, I have only raced Formula One cars that were safe. If you had the same safety standards in the 70s or 80s, I would choose these decades for the spirit.
Q: What current Formula One regulation would you most like to change and why?
JB: I would change the refuelling ban. It was fantastic to race with low fuelled cars. It was just awesome. We all like to race light cars, limbo cars. And refuelling with its sophisticated strategies added to the spectacle.
Q: If you could pick two Formula One greats of the past to watch race against each other, who would you pick?
JB: It would be Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost. I saw them when I was very young and I will never get tired of watching them over and over again.
Q: If you were a team boss, which current driver would you pick first for your team (excluding yourself and your current team mate)?
JB: I dont know. But if pressed I would pick Fernando (Alonso) and Paul di Resta. Why not?
Q: Just 19 of the worlds motor racing circuits feature on the current F1 calendar. You can add one more. Which circuit do you pick and why?
JB: Definitely Imola. I love that track. I got my first pole position there in 2004 so I have fond memories of that track.
Q: You are having a dinner party and can invite four people from the world of motorsport, past or present. Who do you invite?
JB: I wouldnt. Id rather have a dinner party with friends and family. I am spending too much time in Formula One, so I would make that very private.
Q: You are given the chance to drive any legendary Formula One car of the past. Which car would you choose?
JB: If I would fit in it, I would love to drive the (McLaren) MP4-4. That car won 16 races, so it must have been a hell of a car.
Q: Rooftop swimming pool, bowling alley, revolving sushi bar - just some of the features most F1 motorhomes dont possess. If you could add one thing to your teams motorhome, what would it be?
JB: First of all I dont like revolving sushi bars - I like sushi counters! I would go for a bowling alley.
Q: Imagine you have just won the world title again. Where would you go for your celebratory meal and what would choose from the menu?
JB: I would immediately go to Hawaii. I spend quite some time there. Id go there to a Japanese restaurant and drink sake - my favourite drink - or probably a dirty dry Martini.
For Formula One and F1 team merchandise, click here.