Formula One Car Breaks Bathurst Record
A new record was set at Bathurst by a Formula One car, speeding through the world-renowned motor racing circuit in Australia almost twenty seconds faster than a V8 Supercar.
British Jenson Button, F1 world champion, set the 2009 record of 1 minute 48 seconds as he drove the first modern Formula One car, a 2008 McLaren Mercedes.
The unofficial time with the McLaren was way faster than the record of 2 minutes 6 seconds by a V8 Supercar, driven last year by Craig Lowndes in a Holden Commodore.
Lowndes, who had won in Bathurst for five times, was only one second slower than Button when he got the chance to drive a Formula One car during Vodafone’s special driver-swap.
Vodafone was the title sponsor for both Lowndes’ V8 Supercar gear as well as Button’s McLaren group.
The special event had a few thousand locals from Bathurst lining the track and witnessing the two best drivers swap their cars, with Button in the slippery Vodafone V8 Commodore and Lowndes behind the wheel of the F1 McLaren.
Lowndes was found commending the F1 car as being more impressive than a V8 Supercar.
He pointed out that the acceleration amazed him even as he was just setting out, but after the second turn, he was even more impressed. In comparison, he described the V8 as seeming to be struggling up a mountain.
He added that he enjoyed driving the car, and conceding he was not expecting a Formula One team to call him.
He said it was about 14 years too late for him to get that chance, but that he got a rush driving a car that was specifically built for precision and speed.
Button reportedly recommended driving an F1 car around the Mount Panorama track, although the circuit reportedly had an undulating nature that posed serious challenges.
He shared that he had trouble turning the wheel as he neared the turn towards Conrod Staright, and he found it a bit scary for the bumps. He even described the thought of driving an F1 through the tight confines of the circuit as “madness.”
Button said that the thing he enjoyed most was from turn five onwards, as he set up the hill.
“That section was a real buzz,” he said.
He also added that the race track was iconic and he found it great to be able to celebrate the fastest, though unofficial, lap driving an F1 car, the fulfillment of a lifelong dream.