Wild Ride: Jenson Button drives McLaren F1 car around Moscow's streets

Jenson Button streets of Moscow video Glenn Dunbar/LAT Photographic
Formula One driver Jenson Button behind the wheel of his McLaren MP4-26 Mercedes at the German Grand Prix.

Published on 7/22/2011

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Vitaly Petrov in 2010 became Russia's first-ever Formula One driver, and interest in motorsports in the former Soviet state has grown significantly during the past 10 years--even though the country still does not host an official F1 event despite several proposals in recent years.

However, that doesn't mean that Russians must travel abroad to experience the power, sounds and smells of F1 machinery. Thanks to the fourth-annual Moscow City Racing event on July 17, fans witnessed firsthand the performance of F1 cars from McLaren-Mercedes, Ferrari and Team Lotus-Renault GP.

As seen in the video, 2009 world champion Jenson Button was more concerned with providing an impressive display of car control--and the rarely seen art of F1 drifting--than finding the fastest way around a damp circuit that ran through the historic center of the capital from Bolotnaya Square to the Kremlin and along the Kremlin walls.

As for an actual race, the mayor of Sochi, Anatoly Pakhomov, wants to host the inaugural Russian Grand Prix in 2014, the same year the Black Sea resort will also stage the Winter Olympics.

Sochi has a seven-year deal with F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone to host the series on a 3.4-mile circuit designed by F1 architect Hermann Tilke on the Olympic Village site.

Watch the Jenson Button Moscow drive video here.

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