McLaren ambassador Jenson Button will be making a return to the track in August when he gets behind the wheel of the iconic 1974 world championship-winning McLaren M23 at the Monterey Motorsports Reunion.
The event takes place at the Laguna Seca circuit, which is of equal notability, and will showcase more than 550 historic vehicles over the weekend.
The M23 was driven to success by the legendary Emerson Fittipaldi, but it is not the first time that Button has been in the driving seat; he drove the car at Silverstone and in London’s Leicester Square during the premiere of the Rush movie in 2013.
This will be the Brit’s first outing in a F1 car since his retirement at the end of last season, an opportunity he is greatly looking forward to.
“It’s always special to drive a Formula 1 car with such an illustrious past, and the M23 wrote a significant chapter in grand prix history during the 1970s,” he said.
“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 the M23 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.
“I can’t wait to show this car off to the thousands of fans and aficionados at the Monterey Motorsport Reunion this summer.”
Gill Campbell, CEO of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, was equally thrilled with the appearance of both car and driver at the event that has evolved into a celebration of some of motorsport’s finest engineering marvels.
“We are honoured to host Jenson Button and the McLaren Formula 1 team at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Museum,” he said. “Formula 1 has deep roots in the 60-year history of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
“These exhibitions will provide a great link between motorsport’s past and present.”