Jamie and Jenson switch cars at Albert Park
TeamVodafone's Jamie Whincup and Formula One's Jenson Button
went head to head driving each other's cars today at Melbourne's iconic Albert Park street circuit ahead of the Australian Grand Prix.
V8 Supercar Champion Whincup
got behind the wheel of a Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Formula One car for the very first time, while reigning F1 Champ Button sampled the TeamVodafone V8 Supercar. The four-lap time trial put both drivers' skills to the test and while Button looked remarkably comfortable in Whincup's Holden Commodore, the F1 vehicle was a little less forgiving.
Despite the tight squeeze, Jamie Whincup declared today's event the fulfilment of a lifelong dream.
"I must admit I was nervous before driving the F1 car. It was an unbelievable experience and the acceleration and breaking is like something I have never felt. It was incredible. I even had a little celebration to myself 50 metres after the start as I didn't stall it. The car is tiny on the inside, but it sure does everything right. I only made a few tiny errors, a few understeers, a few oversteers. But I guess it was to be expected.
"Today really was a dream come true for me, I have always wanted to drive one of these amazing machines.
"It's exciting that I have accomplished one of my 'top three things to do before I die'. Now I just need to fly an F18 fighter jet and go into space!" Whincup said.Jenson Button
explains the differences he felt driving a V8 instead of his usual car.
"It was a really good experience and really exciting. I noticed I need to strengthen my right leg if I am to have the opportunity to drive a V8 again! The brake pedal is on the right foot as opposed to my car where I need to use my left leg. It's very hot in the car, not with the G-Force, but just being in a tin-top car makes it tough."
The British driver hinted that he could even make the stunning switch from open cockpit to touring cars once his Formula One career comes to an end.
"I have followed the V8s quite a bit and, once I have finished in Formula One, maybe it is a series in which I could compete" he said.
The drivers took part in a Q&A session with the media, analysing the time trial and each other's cars as well as discussing their thoughts on the 2010 season and the upcoming Australian Grand Prix.
V8 Supercar Qualifying begins on Thursday at 5.15pm