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Button set for first F1 outing since leaving sport in McLaren M23 at Monterey

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Jenson Button has been confirmed for his first racing appearance since walking away from Formula 1 at the end of last year when he demonstrates a classic McLaren M23 car at the upcoming Rolex Motorsports Reunion.

Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey will play host to the event from August 17-20, with Button being confirmed as an attendee on Thursday.

Button made what looks set to be his last F1 start in Abu Dhabi last November, stepping back from his McLaren race seat for 2017 and becoming a team ambassador.

Button has been spending much of his free time in the United States recently, and will make another appearance in California at Mazda Raceway when he tries out Emerson Fittipaldi’s title-winning car from the 1974 F1 season.

Photo courtesy Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca

“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,” Button 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 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.”

“We are honored to host Jenson Button at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion and showcase a car with such great history,” CEO and general manager of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca Gill Campbell added.

“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.”

Racing world reacts to Danica Patrick’s Daytona, Indy double news

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Here’s a sampling of quotes and social media reaction to Danica Patrick’s news announced earlier Friday that this would be her last full-time season as a driver, and that she’ll race in the Daytona 500 and Indianapolis 500 only in 2018.

This ends a full-time stretch in the top flights of NASCAR and IndyCar. She was in NASCAR from 2012 through 2017, and IndyCar from 2005 through 2011.

Her’s her own post on Twitter and Instagram.

Well…. 2018 Daytona 500 and Indy 500 here I come. 🙌🏼

A post shared by Danica Patrick (@danicapatrick) on

IMS President J. Douglas Boles

“We’re glad Danica plans to return to the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil next May,” IMS President J. Douglas Boles said. “Her final career start will make what’s already shaping up to be a terrific Month of May even more interesting for our fans.

“It’s also fitting that Danica is wrapping up her career at the place and in the race where she became a household name and captured the world’s attention in 2005 – the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Indianapolis 500. We’re looking forward to seeing her back in an Indy car next May alongside all of the tremendous drivers of the Verizon IndyCar Series.”

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