F1 2009 World Champion Jenson Button, preparing for the Malaysian Grand Prix this weekend, will race the Olympic-distance race at the ITU World Championship Series event in London (August 6-7), organisers have announced.
The 31 year-old, originally from Somerset but now based in Guernsey, is a keen triathlete and wanted to try the proposed Olympic course at Hyde Park.
Button’s successful career as a driver dates back to 1991 when he won the Cadets British Champion title at the age of 11. Last weekend he was sixth in the Australian Grand Prix for his Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team. You may also remember that we featured him in issue 238, when we had exclusive access to his training facilities in Brackley and when he was a member of the Brawn GP team (see picture, above). Later that yar he went on to win his first F1 world championship title.
Button’s triathlon preparation this year has included a few cycling tips from multi-Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong, when they were both training on the Hawaiian island of Kona – home of the Ironman World Championships.
"We met up and went for a couple of rides”, he said. “It was an amazing experience and a great opportunity to learn from someone who has achieved so much," Button said. "It was good for my training, and hopefully that will come out."
Button uses triathlon as a key way of keeping fit for F1. Talking in advance of this weekend’s F1 race on the Sepang track in Malaysia he said: “Until you’ve been to Malaysia you really can’t appreciate what an oven it is. It’s the toughest race of the year physically and a place where good base fitness carried over from the winter will stand you in good stead for the race”.
No doubt Button will provide additional excitement for Hyde Park spectators who can watch the whole event free of charge this year – giving them a foretaste of the Olympics to come.
For more on the event visit www.triathlon-wcs-london.org.