Event>>formula One Comes To Bathurst

“These guys are crazy – they really are. This place is fantastic. Television just doesn’t do it justice” said Jenson Button. Motor racing fanatics were given something truly mouth-watering when McLaren driver Jenson Button became the first to lap the Mount Panorama circuit in a Formula One car.

With the first round of the 2011 Formula One World Championship a few days away, the media circus has descended on Australia and this gave McLaren sponsor Vodafone a great opportunity to visit Bathurst and the Mount Panorama race circuit, which also appears in Need for Speed SHIFT2 UNLEASHED.

V8 Supercar team, Triple Eight Racing are also sponsored by Vodafone and have a very similar livery. Lead driver Craig Lowndes and 2009 Formula 1 World Champion, Jenson Button had the opportunity to drive each others cars at the circuit yesterday.

Lowndes then took to the wheel in the McLaren, just one second slower than Button with a time of 1m49 seconds. 16 seconds quicker than Lowndes' own lap record that was set in the Commodore. As this was a demonstration, neither driver was pushing.

Craig commented, "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".

Eagle eyed Speedhunters will note, McLaren were running a 2008 car.

Jenson also had the opportunity to drive the V8 Commodore briefly and had great fun “ I haven’t hammered a car over the kerbs like that for 12 years….. I was holding on tight all the way”

McLaren recently confirmed Lewis Hamilton will trade places with NASCAR Tony Stewart later this year in a similar demonstration later this year.

What a cool event. I wonder if Fredric or Matt wants to drive an F1 car……..

-Andy Blackmore

Images: Team Vodafone V8 Supercar team



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Video! and why wasn't i told this was happening, I would have made the 200km drive just to see that :(


16 seconds... that's a light-year! wow


Woaaa i thought they gonna make that place a venue taht would be crazy


It was pretty well advertised. About 10,000 people turned up. I just walked up from my office at the nearby uni.


ok - Go Bathurst!


I'm in Canberra and didn't hear a thing about it untill after the event. I would have driven up to see it for sure.


what was jenson's time in the holden?


My god can you see team owners cringing watching 26 F1 cars screaming down the backside of that mountain in the skinny twisty bits....Bathurst as an F1 venue no WAAAAY lol

But DAMn would it be a spectacle


Lowndsey was only 1 second slower in the F1 car. In the V8, Craig posted a 2:11, while Button posted a 2:17. The official lap record is ~2:08, which was set during the 2010 Bathurst 1000. Button's effort is pretty impressive considering he's never driven a V8 Supercar around the mountain, The best bit was seeing an F1 car go flat out through the Chase. It gave me the giggles and made me think how awesome it would be seeing an F1 car go through Eau Rogue hehe. Afterwards, I spoke to someone who was sitting up near the Esses. He said it was unbelievable.

JB is a pretty top bloke. He was signing autographs and talking with the fans for quite a while. The fan favourite, Lowndsey left before he did! I scored a photo with the champ (yes, i hugged him. I couldn't help myself) and told him to:

1) Hug Webber for me. He smiled and said he'll try!

2) Help Webber out. Apparently, Webber doesn't need help. I loved the fact that there was mutual respect!

3) Crash into Vettel.

JB is a champ! Let's hope he's the man that keeps Webber honest this year.


why are these not desktops yet? these are some the best pictures, in every aspect, i've seen around this place in a while.


Was reading F1 Racing's article by Murray Walker talking about the greatest circuit that have never heard the sound of an F1 engine.

Well, Macau had heard the Jordan EJ13's Ford and now Bathurst have just heard the McLaren's Mercedes-Benz.


Awesome, could you imagine the scenery if this was a stop on the f1 championship???


f*cking awesome!!!



better than anything tilke will ever do.


What was Jensen Buttons time in the Commodore


Here's a clip... there's quite a few of them around



why cant there ever be a f1 race here bathurst seems alot wider then the Monaco Grand Prix track ?


26 F1 cars racing up the mountain? That would be amazing!

Imagine a duel through the Cutting, ey?



I remember seeing the last open wheel race at Bathurst, 1969 I think. The Coopers were some feet off the road over the bumps on Conrod. Too many drivers lost their lives in these cars at Bathurst. Stopped racing there because it is simply too dangerous for the speed they do.

Yesterday's promo effort was clearly a spectacle though. Would have gone up (from Canberra) if I had the time.

As for JB's lap in the Holden, every non-V8 driver has talked about the months of practise needed to bring these things up to competitive speed. 6 sec. behind Lowndes is pretty good. Can anybody remember what the other F1 and Indy drivers achieved at first look at Bathurst?


Speedhunters needs to cover more V8 Supercar events and more events at Mount Panorama - Bathurst :)


What I'd give to be in the presence of an F1 car...


i wish i was there, a once in a lifetime opportunity. good on ya Lowndesy!!!


@ Gus :

The most impressive and amazing track of the world is the one and only Nürburgring Nordschleife.

That's epicness, trying to break through the magical 10 minutes mark this year...


I just wish the V8 Supercars had more coverage here in the states.... instead i have to catch highlights on youtube.....

On another note, this would be an amazing venue for F1! What an epic track!


Yes, Lewis Hamilton and Tony Stewart are supposed to trade cars at Watkins Glen! Rumor has it that they will be using the NASCAR course (grrrrrrrr) and McLaren is bringing the 2010 car. Hoping Lewis will try for a lap record....will Speedhunters be coming? Love to meet you guys in person!!!!


If you go to the link below you can see some more shots from the day.