Emerson Fittipaldi in the McLaren M23 at the 1974 British Grand Prix
Emerson Fittipaldi in the McLaren M23 at the 1974 British Grand Prix

Jenson Button to Drive at Monterey Reunion

Formula One racing driver Jenson Button will get behind the wheel of Emerson Fittipaldi’s 1974 Formula One World Championship-winning McLaren M23 at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, scheduled for August 17-20, 2017 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca during the Monterey Car Week.

For Button, who won the 2009 Formula One World Championship driving for Brawn GP, the Monterey event will mark his first outing in Formula 1 machinery since retiring at the end of 2016.

“It’s always special to drive a grand prix car with an illustrious history, and the M23 wrote one of the most significant chapters in motorsport history throughout much of the 1970s,” said Button. “It’s a somewhat strange sensation to drive a car from this era — you sit much more upright in the cockpit, and you feel like you could almost reach out of the cockpit and touch the front wheels. But, once you drive it, you quickly start to understand what made it so successful — it’s incredibly easy to drive, has a really consistent balance, and plenty of feel. Everything you put into it, you get out of it, which is very rewarding for a driver.”

The McLaren-Ford M23 contested 80 grands prix between 1973 and 1978, winning 16 grands prix and three world championships (1974 drivers’ and constructors’; 1976 drivers’).

“We are honored to host Jenson Button at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion and showcase a car with such great history,” said Gill Campbell, CEO and general manager of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. “Formula 1 is the pinnacle of racing advancement and Jenson’s spirited exhibition laps will provide a superb link to motorsport’s past that fans will assuredly enjoy.”

The 2017 Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion honors the Diamond Jubilee of Formula Junior and the 70th anniversary of Ferrari, as well as celebrating the 60th anniversary of the raceway itself. For additional information, visit MazdaRaceway.com or call the Ticket Office at 831-242-8200.

[Source: Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca]