Former Formula One driver Jenson Button says he is excited about the challenge he faces ahead of the Chicago street race debut in NASCAR.
The 2009 Formula One world champion is back racing in the NASCAR Cup Series for his second event on Sunday, July 2. Speaking to Paddock Eye during a conference call on Tuesday, Button said he was looking forward to the challenge of the Cup Series race on the streets of Chicago.
Button said that there is less downforce in a Formula One car compared to a NASCAR Cup Series car. Button said that the race in Chicago is completely different from Monaco as Monte Carlo is a principality, whereas he will be competing on a full street course.
Button was in France last weekend competing in the 24 Hours of LeMans, where he completed the greatest endurance race in motorsport in a specially modified NASCAR as part of the Garage 56 project alongside Mike Rockenfeller and seven-time Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson.
Jenson Button and Jimmie Johnson will go from teammates to rivals on the track, with Jimmie Johnson competing in the No.84 Carvana Chevrolet for his Legacy Motor Club team. At the same time, Button will race for Mobil 1 Racing Ford and speaking to Paddock Eye, Button said:
“In an F1 car, you throw the downforce out there. In F1, you’re really working with efficiency with downforce. So, you might not put a certain Gurney flap on for most tracks if the straight-line speed is down. But on a street circuit, you don’t care about efficiency. Just throw as much downforce down as you can. The problem with a Cup car: We don’t have a lot of downforce and the downforce you do have, the only way you get it is to run the car on the floor. On a street circuit, you can’t do that because it’s bumpy. You hit the ground, you hit the bump-stops. So, you’re kind of in a tricky situation. There’s a lot of setup work that needs to be done for Chicago, and I think you’ll see big differences up and down the grid in terms of performance and how the cars handle on-track because of that. So, I would say it’s easier for F1 going to a track because they understand their aero package, whereas we’re limited in Cup. The way to get downforce is to run the car low. It’s going to be a tricky weekend, but it’s an exciting challenge, and something I’m very much looking forward to.”