Hamilton and Button drive a Mercedes W25

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Lewis Hamilton tries sitting behind the engine and braking with his right foot

Both of Britain’s Mercedes-powered F1 drivers have sampled the same historic W25 in recent weeks.

Jenson Button drove the car at the Goodwood Festival of Speed and last weekend Lewis Hamilton tried it out on the Nurburgring Nordschleife.

Built in 1934, the W25 had a twin-supercharged straight engine that produced 314bhp to begin with, increasing to 354bhp when they started using methyl alcohol fuel.

Perched on tyres that seem ludicrously skinny by modern standards, the drivers also had to get used to having the accelerator on the left and the brake pedal on the right.

The car’s distinctive shriek made it hard to miss on the hill at Goodwood, but unfortunately I wasn’t in the right place at the right time to get a picture of Button at the wheel.

So thanks to Jonny White who has allowed me to use a couple of his pictures of Button driving the car and waving to the crowd. Have a look at some more of his excellent pictures from Goodwood on Flickr, if the collection below hasn’t satisfied your appetite!

More pictures from the 2009 Goodwood Festival of Speed

Images © Daimler, Jonny White

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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13 comments on “Hamilton and Button drive a Mercedes W25”

  1. As an enthusiastic, but useless karter, this is about the only part of an F1 stars lifestyle I envy, pllleeeassse Mercedes give me a call I will do it for freeeeee!!!

  2. Did Lewis complain about the lack of downforce?

    1. Compared to the MP4/24 it probably seemed like a step forwards.

      1. LOL !!

  3. Great sound, but sheese, has Lewis forgotten how to drive a manual? There were more missed gear changes there than “for sure”‘s in a drivers press conference.

    1. I think forgiveable considering the pedals were the wrong way round!

    2. In addition to the pedals, the W25 had an unsynchronized transmission in which the gears are required to be spinning at the same rate otherwise they won’t mesh.

      It required vastly more skill to operate than the average modern driver has that’s for sure. :)

      1. I think the FIA should introduce unsynchronized manual shifting for 2010, to create more excitement.

        What a most beautiful car

    3. He was double clutching to get the rev’s of the engine to match the gears, it’s my understanding that it’s necessary with unsynched gearboxes.

  4. I asked during the live blog if a modern F1 car could go around the nordshleife… that i would want to watch, but it should be a true competitive lap, I’m sure then we wont hear the manufacturer’s using their silly numbers for marketing…’fastest four door 5 seat, 6 wheeler around the Nurburgring, with the map stitched on the headliner to prove it’.

    I wouldn’t mind having a go at those old cars.

    1. As far as I’m aware Nico Rosberg [or other Williams driver!] is the most recent F1 driver to go round but it was for demonstration purposes and the modern F1 car can’t get round the apex of the hairpin and has to creep round the top…

  5. Silverarrowfan
    16th July 2009, 14:07

    I found a realy good video about marc and the mercedes museum.
    The video is in german.
    check it out :

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