While rain disrupted the opening day of Formula 1 testing at Mugello, Budapest was bathed in hot sunshine as tens of thousands of people came to watch Jenson Button drive his Vodafone McLaren Mercedes F1 car through the heart of the city.
It was both a fitting conclusion to the Vodafone Raise Your Game Weekend and an exciting moment in itself. To celebrate the recent modernisation of its network, Vodafone had arranged a full weekend of activities in which it challenged the people of Budapest to try something new.
At the end of a weekend that was all about exceeding expectations, the streets were packed with excited spectators even though the Vodafone Downtown Grand Prix was broadcast live by m1 and Kossuth Radio. Jenson didn’t disappoint, reaching nearly 200km/h on one of his three runs down the specially closed-off street course near the Hungarian Parliament building. That’s certainly something that has never been done before.
With the speed record already under his belt, Jenson performed a series of crowd-pleasing donuts, wreathing the roundabout at the junction of Bajcsy-Zsilinszky út and Alkotmány utca in tyre smoke.
“It was a great pleasure for me to take part in such a huge festival featuring exciting programs in downtown Budapest,” said Jenson. “I really enjoyed the running over the afternoon. It was special not only because it was hosted in a location different to the usual Formula 1 circuits, and I could drive surrounded by beautiful buildings, but also because I was able to race at a speed that previously only Vodafone’s network could achieve.”