Jenson Button’s unofficial Bathurst lap record in an F1 car is wild

THIS weekend the boys and girls of the Supercar field are setting blistering times as part of the Bathurst 1000.

But six years ago, Bathurst witnessed a lap that is unlikely to be matched for a very long time, and certainly not by a beloved Supercar touring car.

Vodafone brought Jenson Button and a Formula 1 car to Mount Panorama for a special showcase in 2011 – during which, Button set one of the all-time great laps of the circuit.

Coming in at 1:48.8 the McLaren-Mercedes MP4-23 Formula One car lap shattered all before it.

Oh, and Supercars legend Craig Lowndes was only a second slower than Button around the same track – in his first ever steer of an F1 car.


The fact Mount Panorama operates as public road for most of the year caused some problems for Button and the F1 car.

“I could hardly turn the wheel coming into the turn [for Conrod Straight] and it was a bit scary down the straight with it being so bumpy,” he explained at the time.

No one before or since has completed a lap of The Mountain quicker. However, it is only an unofficial lap record.

An oft misunderstood quirk of motorsport lap records is that in order for them to count, they have to be performed under racing conditions.

This means quick laps from practice and qualifying are not counted, nor are those clocked during showcase events as the one Vodafone put on in 2011.


Shane van Gisbergen is officially recognised as the fastest man around Mount Panorama, setting a 2:01.567 lap during the 2016 Bathurst 12 Hour – which he and teammates Alvaro Parente and Jonathon Webb won outright.

The flying Kiwi is also holds the fastest lap around the circuit recorded during a sanctioned race meeting, clocking a 2:01.286 lap in qualifying a day earlier.

Curious what the road car lap record is? Bernd Schneider piloted a Mercedes-AMG GT R to a 2:16.5 lap earlier this year. This is officially recognised as the Mountain’s production car lap record.

To put the speed difference into perspective, the F1 would almost lap the GT R after about five tours around the circuit

But forget all that. Turn your speakers up and enjoy the sounds of a V8-powered F1 car ripping round Mount Panorama.

 

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