F1 fever hits Moscow at annual Bavaria City Racing show
With less than a week remaining before the start of the German Grand Prix weekend, you could have forgiven most F1 drivers for putting their feet up after the hustle and bustle of the British Grand Prix.
Not Jenson Button, however, who was joined by Ferrari and Lotus drivers Giancarlo Fisichella and Karun Chandhok in Moscow on Sunday to wow crowds at the annual Bavaria City Racing show around the Kremlin and Red Square.
More than 100,000 spectators gathered to see Button, Chandhok and Fisichella complete a series of laps and extravagant burn-outs in one of the most spectacular settings as the country continues to generate F1 fever ahead of the inaugural 2014 grand prix.
"I'm very glad that thanks to Mobil 1, the technology partner of Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team, I have been invited back to Russia and had the chance to race a new track in the very centre of Moscow," said Button. "It was a great day and a lot of fun being involved in the Moscow City Racing event. It was really nice to see such number of show-goers and to meet my fans and fans of Formula 1 racing."
Wet conditions in Moscow failed to dampen the enthusiasm of the assembled crowd and even added to the sense of occasion, according to Fisichella.
"It is a great circuit with the Kremlin and the Red Square in the background," said the Italian. "The rainy circumstances demanded everything from the drivers and turned the demonstration into a stunning show. The crowd went wild and that's what it's all about."
And for Karun Chandhok, the biggest thrill was the novelty of being able to drive around such a stunning location to such an appreciative crowd.
"Russia has a grand prix coming up and there seems to be a lot of excitement among the public here, which is great - unless you can get a crowd, there's no point in having a race," he added. "But there seems to be a lot of interest for Formula 1 in this country. It's been an eye-opener for me, it's a beautiful city with amazing architecture. To drive down the long straight alongside the wall of the Kremlin was pretty mega."