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Jenson Button Would Love To Drive His Jaguar C-Type Around Marina Bay Street Circuit

“Just hanging out the tail everywhere” - expect nothing less from the 2009 Formula One World Champion.
OneShift Editorial Team
OneShift Editorial Team
25 Sep 2023

In the pulsating world of Formula 1, the Singapore Grand Prix is a standout event, set at the dazzling Marina Bay Street Circuit. This challenging street race, surrounded by Singapore's iconic skyline, has witnessed memorable moments etched in F1’s history.

The Marina Bay Street Circuit was the sport's first-ever night race, presenting a unique blend of speed and precision. Its concrete barriers and intricate corners demand nothing less than excellence from drivers, all while providing a breathtaking urban backdrop.

And during a hot race-day afternoon at the 2023 Singapore Grand Prix, we had a chance to interview the one and only 2009 World Champion, Jenson Button, about his thoughts on the Marina Bay Street Circuit and what he would drive on it today if he had the chance.

If you could add other parts of Singapore to the circuit, what would you add?

JB: I've always liked the streets. I think it's cool.

I mean, it's not the easiest track to overtake on. And they've added this new section, (where) they've taken away three or four corners, which is a shame. Yeah, I know the reasons for it. Hopefully, it's going to help with overtaking.

But it's not an easy place to overtake. It's so fast into that right-hander now. They've lengthened it, but you're braking from such a high speed. One little mistake and you're going straight off.

I think there's going to be a lot of tyre degradation. I think we'll see cars dropping off in terms of lap times, so then the opportunity comes to overtake when people make mistakes.

But I think in terms of the design of the track, they've done a really good job of making it fun for the drivers. It changed over the years as well, like the chicane where I always used to just take off.

I've got so many pictures of me with both front wheels off the ground in the air. I've got pictures of me in the Brawn and then every time I raced with McLaren, the front's in the air.

It was a cool experience. That was just before the Fullerton Hotel, right on the bridge.

It's always been a fun place to race. One, because it's a great track. It's tough as hell. It's really, really hard. Physical, mental, there's no room for error. But then, it's also such a cool atmosphere.

People are having a great time, and the people are happy. It's a real party sort of event, which is great. It's the first night race, which makes it extra special.

What kind of street car would you want to drive fast on the Marina Bay Street Circuit?

JB: I would choose something old. I've just got back from Goodwood Revival, as you know. And I drove my C-Type, which was owned by Fangio back in the fifties when it was new. He bought it new from a car show and I own that car now and I raced it at Goodwood.

I would love to drive that around the streets. Just hanging out the tail everywhere. Skinny tires, super loud engine, loud exhaust. Oh yeah.

We know that you have the Radford Project Type 62-2. What specification of that would you like to see around Singapore?

JB: Well, we actually have a spec which raced up Pikes Peak.

It's a single central seat, so obviously the steering wheel's in the middle. Set to over 700 horsepower, carbon everything, including brakes, weighs 900 kilos. It's insane. Tanner Foust drove it.

So that around here would be quick. That would be fun. Because it's a small car, it’s easy to manoeuvre around here. That would be awesome. So I'd love to see that around the Singapore track.

Jamie’s thoughts

Now that Jenson Button has spoken, I think as enthusiasts we can agree that maybe the Singapore Grand Prix weekend should include a historic racing class. I mean, just imagine the sound of the old naturally aspirated engines bouncing off the glass panes and concrete pillars of our skyscrapers!

Text and photos by Jamie Ong


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Jenson Button
Formula One
Marina Bay Street Circuit
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