Button, Schumacher and Rosberg’s F1 demo runs

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Jenson Button was greeted by thousands of Hungarian fans when he performed a demonstration run in his McLaren yesterday.

Button did doughnuts and hit a top speed of 200kph (125mph) on the roads near the Hungarian Parliament building during the event for one of McLaren’s sponsors.

“It was a great pleasure for me to take part in such a huge festival featuring exciting programs in downtown Budapest,” said Button.

He drove last year’s MP4-26 at the event.

Another driver putting on a display in a recent F1 car was Michael Schumacher, who entertained fans at the first round of the DTM championship at the Hockenheimring on Sunday.

Schumacher did a demonstration run in last year’s W02 at the track which will hold this year’s German Grand Prix.

Team mate Nico Rosberg drove a Mercedes W196 Streamliner – an example of the last Mercedes to win an F1 race before his victory in the Chinese Grand Prix this year.

The DTM race was won for Mercedes by McLaren test driver Gary Paffett.

Here are pictures from both events.

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Images ?? McLaren/Hoch Zwei, Daimler/Hoch Zwei

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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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21 comments on “Button, Schumacher and Rosberg’s F1 demo runs”

  1. Am I right when I think this is the first time McLaren chose to run a car resembling their current car after constantly using their championship-winning McLaren MP4-23?

    Regarding the W196, it always looks so… not F1 to me, because of the wheel covers. I like the version without the wheel covers they ran later that year a lot more. It’s not the wings that make a car F1 to me, it’s mainly the fact that it’s supposed to have open wheels. How on earth was that thing even legal back then? Even back then everyone must’ve understood the aerodynamic advantage such a design must have had on fast tracks with long straights.

    1. @roald Unfortunately I don’t have a copy of the technical rules from the fifties so I can’t tell you how it was legal! But it seems there was a bit of a fad for ‘streamliner’ designs at the time because of Mercedes’ success. I saw a picture recently of Ferrari attempting a similar design on the D50. Obviously it wouldn’t be allowed now.

      1. Mike the bike Schumacher (@mike-the-bike-schumacher)
        2nd May 2012, 19:11

        i seem to remember reading somewhere that one of the reasons they reverted back to open wheel layout for the ‘streamliner’ was because Fangio said he couldn’t see where the front wheels were, giving him little confidence to push the car to the limit. Valid excuse for back then, when u really did need confidence!

        1. @mike-the-bike-schumacher
          It meant that he tended to do this: http://bit.ly/IHqDDv

          @keithcollantine @cjpdk
          The Lancia (and Maserati) weren’t properly closed wheel.
          Lancia: http://bit.ly/J0KGvy
          Maserati: http://8w.forix.com/250f/jb-i55.jpg

          Although Lancia did start a closed-wheel version that was never completed: http://bit.ly/IFPmJp

          Vanwall: http://www.flickr.com/photos/40940504@N06/4818467155/lightbox/
          A more enclosed Vanwall: http://bit.ly/IFQ2yv
          Cooper: http://8w.forix.com/6thgear/cooper-t51-streamliner.jpg

          1. Although I know several of these weren’t actually raced. I think some were used only in practice, or even not at all.

          2. Mike the bike Schumacher (@mike-the-bike-schumacher)
            3rd May 2012, 12:32

            @matt90 Cool pics!!

    2. the first time McLaren chose to run a car resembling their current car

      I don’t know whether it’s the first time, but they said this was the car that won last year’s Canadian GP and got retired right after that race.

    3. @roald It was used in Melbourne for a demonstration. Here’s some footage I shot of it doing a timed lap from the inside of turn 1. Gary Paffet is the driver, but the reason he’s so slow is that he was on demonstration tyres (very hard wets I believe) to prevent McLaren from gaining any advantage from running a recent car. I believe they use the MP4-23 a lot because they can use slicks and go much quicker.

      Here’s a screengrab of a video I shot later to prove it was indeed the MP4-26, by the way. ;-) (You can also see the tyres he was forced to use)

    4. Back in 1955, they simply didn’t have an open-wheels rule. Of course, Marcedes were the only team to run a closed wheel car.

      And the wings definitely don’t make an F1 car, seeing as they only came in the 60s.

      1. *weren’t
        Vanwall and Cooper used closed-wheel cars, although not as prominently as Mercedes.

    5. I disagree. The non-streamlined W196 so a fairly hideous F1 car in my opinion- wide and lump in a way you don’t expect pre-wing era cars to be. Although I admit the streamline W196 led to some strange looking grids: http://f1.imgci.com/PICTURES/CMS/2300/2344.jpg

      1. *The non-streamlined W196 was a fairly hideous F1 car

  2. Is that Coulthard in the car in the last picture with Rosberg ?

    1. yep, sure is. Though that is not his car, he drives a yellow Merc in DTM this year

      1. did a quick check, it’s Paffett’s car.

  3. The uncanny thing about this for me is that I was in Budapest not 4 weeks ago, and this is the exact road we walked up from the parliament building to an Irish bar which is on that very corner. And we walked the full length of the main road the next time we went. And then last week I heard he was doing this and I’m thinking “Ah, ok. It’s weird that I know that route Exactly and was there recently, despite the fact that it’s the only European city I’ve ever been to”.

    My next holiday will probably be in Prague, Jenson ;)

  4. I live in Budapest and I was there. These parades brings the action so so close. Button literally did his spins 10 metres away from me. Indeed, there were a lot of people out there. Jenson did his runs, signed autographs and one girl incidentally noted how small he is – despite being of the tallest on the grid lol. I managed to take some magnificently polished close-ups of the MP4-26 as well, they are among my best latest photos. (I am an amateur photographer.)

    And boy, these V8 sounds good nevertheless – I only heard them live once so far in 2009 at a similar event of Red Bull in Budapest. The V10s of 2005 at the Hungaroring are an even more distant memory. I hope to get to Spa or Monza this year or the next – if Spa remains.

    All in all, Button’s demo run was a great experience.

    1. @atticus-2 The amazing things were the tyre changes (the waterpolo guys did it in 3.2), the smell of the burnt tyre aghhhh, and the sweet sound of downshifts.
      Me & my girlfiend were standing at Deák Ferenc squere, first row behind the cameraman, from noon, and right before the first run she had a sunstroke, so I had to take her to the ambulance car nearby, and dash back to see the show, but I did not manage to get back to my place:/

      1. @bag0 I missed the tyre changes, I only got there later.

        Bad luck with the sunstroke, although it was bloody hot that day. Jenson commented something towards his crew when signing autographs shaking his head in the meantime. I did not follow him, but his body language suggested he felt the heat too.

    2. @atticus-2 Glad you enjoyed it! I’ve been to a couple of races and a demo in Manchester, UK. Each time they have been louder than I remember. People looked genuinely shocked and just how loud they were ;)

  5. The W196 looks absolutely immaculate. Considering that car is 60-ish years old the bodywork is flawless. Stunning.

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