Most of us would be thrilled if our work benefits included insurance, free gas money, and weekly food allowances. Being given a special edition Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG DR 520 Estate ? Yeah, we can only wish.
Things, of course, are different if you’re a Formula One driver, especially if you’re the reigning World Champion. That’s what Jenson Button is, and because he’s the defending champ – and he drives for McLaren Mercedes – he was given a perk most of us can only dream of: his very own C63 AMG DR 520.
Limited to only 20 models, the special edition car is powered by a 6.3 liter V8 engine that has been tuned to produce 520 horsepower and 650 Nm of torque, numbers that translate to a 60 horsepower and 50 Nm spike over than the standard C63 AMG . The estate version of this special edition model can run a 0-60 mph time of 4.2 seconds wit an electronically limited top speed of 187 mph. Oh, and the car is only available through the company’s Specialists Product Division, so that pretty much says everything about it’s exclusivity.
And just to rub it in to all of us here Stateside, the car is only available in the UK at a stout price tag of £63,680 or about $100,000. Not that it matters anyway because we won’t be getting our hands on this car anytime soon. Like we said, it’s only available in the UK and we’re not the defending Formula One World Champion.
We rarely see two teammates in Formula One – and two former world champions at that – have a good time around each other and make it all seem so genuine. We learned that firsthand from the failed Lewis Hamilton-Fernando Alonso fiasco a few years back that pretty much divided McLaren Mercedes in half.
But now that the team has two chaps that have an unabashed chemistry, McLaren’s principal sponsor, Vodafone, isn’t wasting the opportunity to put both Hamilton and teammate Jenson Button in front of a camera for a number of short documentaries to highlight their growing number of escapades.
The latest mini-documentary to be released by McLaren takes the antics of Lewis and Jenson out on the road on-board a 1966 Volkswagen Camper. The new spot featuring both drivers takes the two on a nice little drive to Silverstone where they do, among other things, stop over at a gas station to get their tanks filled, buy as many chocolate candies they could get their hands on, sign as many autographs as they can, and even give away free tickets for the Silverstone Grand Prix.
Check out these two fellas as they make their way over to Silverstone in an unconventional way.
You know what people say about heroes? Our heroes of today had heroes of their own back in the day. That’s how the current crop of athletes have become the best at what they do; they had role models to look up to when they were young. If you’re one of the current crop of Formula One drivers, there’s one name that comes to mind: the late, great Ayrton Senna.
Jenson Button andLewis Hamilton are arguably two of the biggest names in F1 these days. But at one point, they too were racing fans – and Senna fans at that. So when they were able to take a look inside the historic McLaren garage – home to the team’s historic racecars from yesteryear - you kind of expected that they would gravitate towards one that belonged to a certain former World Champion.
And for two of the most charismatic drivers in the F1 grid today, it was a rare moment of silent contemplation given the rich tradition and long history that they were surrounded in. And to be honest, it was a side of both Button and Hamilton that we actually enjoyed.
For a moment, they were just like us: race fans who had the opportunity to sit in the same seat that they’re beloved hero once occupied.
Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull are back on top of the world after qualifying on pole and winning the European Grand Prix. Things didn’t go so well for his teammate though.
Vettel and Webber had been on pole for nearly every single race except for Canada, which Lewis Hamilton won last week.
Yet, the young German dominated the final qualifying session and then proceeded to dominate the quite dull race, winning for just the second time this season.
His teammate Mark Webber came in last after a horrific wreck saw his Red Bull take off into the air after colliding with the rear of a Lotus . On top of that, nine cars are under investigation because of speeding behind the safety car.
Lewis Hamilton finished second after a brilliant drive following a penalty for backing up the field. He was given a drive through but came out in the same spot he went in, second.
Jenson Button finished third after running in fourth behind Kamui Kobayashi nearly the entire race. The Japanese driver chose not to pit until the final few laps. After his stop, Kobayashi passed Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Buemi for seventh place.
When Jenson Button found a last-minute seat to drive for a relatively unknown Brawn GP team in the 2009 Formula 1 season, a provision in his contract said that should he win the driver’s championship that year, he would be entitled to keep one of the race cars he used to win the championship.
Knowing full well that the chances of Jenson Button actually winning the driver’s championship at that time was somewhere along little to no chance, Brawn appeased the Briton’s request on the ground that he take a salary cut from his previous teams. Then, something strange happened. Improbable as it was, Button not only won the driver’s championship, but he did so in dominating fashion. Unfortunately, the victor never did get to enjoy one of his spoils as the promised race car was never given to the crowned world champion.
Instead of giving him one of the genuine race cars he used to dominate F1 in 2009, Button was offered a replica with which the Briton flat out rejected and has since filed a lawsuit against the team for breach of contract. Anything to get what he wants, right? Apparently, both Button and Brawn GP - now called Mercedes GP - have already settled their dispute and that Button will, in fact, receive his championship-clinching F1 racer.
For those of you who think that a Formula One mechanic’s job isn’t all that important, you might want to spend the next three minutes watching this hilarious video of McLaren drivers Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton - two world champions, no less - trying to assemble a McLaren F1 car without the help of their trusty mechanics. Sound easy? Guess again.
How ironic is it that the two men tasked to race these cars can’t even get to finish assembling them without a few minor mishaps and a number of calls to their mechanics asking for some pointers. The video is a commercial done by the team’s principal sponsor, Vodafone, to show just how important it is to establish a good network, not just between members of the team, but apparently, with members of the sponsors as well.
For what it’s worth, though, it’s a pretty funny video to watch because it sure looks like these two race car drivers are in over their heads and have no clue as to how to assemble the cars they drive. Sure, they managed to piece everything together, but Lord knows if they did it exactly the way they should.
McLaren Automotive has found a new way for people like us to “make it rain” with our ’Monopoly’ money and build our very own, customized McLaren MP4-12C with its new online configurator. The configurator was designed by using data from the McLaren Automotive design and engineering teams at the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking, England. In the process, these chaps have given us the opportunity to waste our time doling out millions of possible color combinations that we can use to dress up our imaginary MP4-12C. It can’t get any better than that.
The online configurator gives you the option of choosing between 31 different exterior colors and five different leather trim options. You can further design your McLaren by opting for the “Driver Zone” interior option. This allows the designer to add leather, carbon, and Alcantara to the surrounding areas of the driver’s seat. Performance upgrades are also included in the configurator and consist of a lightweight sports exhaust system, carbon ceramic brake discs, polished-finish calipers and two different lightweight forged wheel options. Media and navigational options round off this wishful-thinking, lunch-hour-absorbing trip down to the McLaren Institute of Fine Design (not a real place, I totally made it up).
You can check out the press release as well as a couple of real pros design their own McLarens after the jump. 2009 Formula 1 World Champion Jenson Button and 2008 World Champion Lewis Hamilton spend a little time with the online configurator in a short film made by McLaren.
McLaren Mercedes’ 2010 Formula One driver’s line-up is finally set and as expected, a world champion joins Lewis Hamilton – a former champ himself – in the fold.
The twist is, however, it’s not the world champion we all first thought.
Jenson Button, the current F1 drivers champion has made his transfer to the Woking-based team, creating an all-British team with 2008 champ Lewis Hamilton. Button’s move to McLaren comes as a surprise to a lot of us, especially considering that Kimi Raikkonen was long rumoured to be the one teaming up with Hamilton at McLaren.
Nevertheless, the allure of pairing two world champs – and are compatriots, no less – on one team was good enough for McLaren to sign Button away from its new sister team Mercedes GP (formerly Brawn GP).
For the record, the last time two world champions raced for the same team happened 20 years ago (1989) when Alain Prost and Aryton Senna drove for McLaren.
Continued after the jump, photo courtesy of Brawn GP.