Jenson Button to drive in Princes Street Gardens

Jenson Button will be encouraging motorists to 'Join the Pact'. Picture: Getty
Jenson Button will be encouraging motorists to 'Join the Pact'. Picture: Getty
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FORMULA One racing stars Jenson Button and Mika Hakkinen are set to appear at a free driving spectacular in Princes Street Gardens.

The pair, along with Danish driver Kevin Magnussen, will take part in an event next Thursday to promote Join the Pact, an initiative by Johnnie Walker to encourage responsible drinking.

It will see the drivers take the wheel of a McLaren passenger car and supercars through Princes Street Gardens with a special viewing area for spectators created at the Ross Bandstand. A lucky few will get the chance to take a ride and experience the precision driving skills at first hand.

Footage of the event will be used around the world to promote the anti-drink drive message at Christmas.

Johhnie Walker has also partnered with Edinburgh’s Hogmanay and Lothian Buses to provide a free bus service for revellers on Hogmanay.

Guy Escolme, Johnnie Walker global brand director, said: “We are incredibly excited to be bringing this event to Edinburgh, the home of Hogmanay and a truly iconic stage, to promote our global never drink-drive message this festive season.

“Our ambition is to get as many people as possible in Scotland and around the world to commit to never drink and drive. We’re delighted to have three stars of Formula 1 engaging the public in Edinburgh to promote this message.

“We are proud of what we achieved with the Join the Pact campaign at the Ryder Cup and we look forward to building on that with the driving spectacular in Edinburgh.”

The Formula 1 stars will appear in West Princes Street Gardens from 11am to 1.30pm.

Former McLaren double world champion Hakkinen is a Johnnie Walker responsible drinking ambassador and attended The 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles
to promote Join the Pact which saw 25,000 people to pledge never to drink and drive.

In return for each of these commitments, Johnnie Walker is giving back a kilometre of free rides home for party-goers on Hogmanay through the partnership with Lothian Buses.

Next Thursday’s event is free to the public and special free tickets will be available for the Ross Bandstand.

There will also be free public viewing available on the top level of West Princes Street Gardens and by the Ross Fountain.

john.connell@edinburghnews.com