Jenson Button puts in an appearance at Goodwood

F1 Grand Prix driver Jenson Button was in great demand by his fans everywhere he went  Picture: Malcolm Wells (112334-9852)

F1 Grand Prix driver Jenson Button was in great demand by his fans everywhere he went Picture: Malcolm Wells (112334-9852)

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RACING driver Jenson Button was besieged by autograph-hunters today as he put in appearance at the Goodwood Festival of Speed – just a week before the British Grand Prix.

The 2009 Formula One world champion flew in from his home in Guernsey and was surrounded by a scrum of adoring fans wherever he went.

MOBBED Jenson Button is surrounded by fans.     Picture: Malcolm Wells (112335-2424)

MOBBED Jenson Button is surrounded by fans. Picture: Malcolm Wells (112335-2424)

‘What are all these cameras here for?’ he joked as TV crews, newspaper and magazine photographers and motor racing enthusiasts all tried to get a shot of him.

Button, who is at the festival near Chichester with girlfriend Jessica Michibata, climbed aboard the new McLaren MP4-12C road car for a spirited run up the world-famous hillclimb course.

He got warm applause from the big crowds as he cut corners and kicked up dust, then accelerated hard past Goodwood House and up to the finish line.

Button said: ‘It’s great to be here. I come to Goodwood every year and look forward to driving different cars. I’ve driven the McLaren before, but this is the first time I’ve really given it the beans.

‘It was great fun. Driving this hill at speed really gets the adrenaline going.’

Button was originally due to get behind the wheel of a grand prix car, but decided against it because of concerns that he might aggravate a leg sustained on a jetski during filming for the BBC.

Tomorrow sees Button’s teammate and fellow world champion Lewis Hamilton join the Goodwood party.

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