F1 legend breaks a Guinness World Record – thanks to his lightning-fast reflexes

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F1 legend Jenson Button has added another string to his bow – breaking a Guinness World Record thanks to his lightning-fast reflexes.

An official Guinness World Record adjudicator presented the British racing driver with his award after he smashed the record for the number of strikes on a Batak board in 30 seconds.

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His super-fast reaction times saw him hit 58, beating the previous holder, Arshia Shahriarhi from Iran, who held the record of 56 from October 2019.

The Batak light reaction machine is often used to improve F1 drivers’ reaction speed, hand co-ordination and stamina, with racers thought to have reaction times that are three times faster than the average person.

Targets light up randomly across the board and participants must hit each light within an allotted time – to test their ability to respond quickly and make sure their peripheral vision is up to scratch.

Jenson has previously beaten former teammate, and seven times F1 world champion, Lewis Hamilton, at a 60 second Batak challenge.

Button was set the challenge by TV and internet streaming service NOW, ahead of the Formula 1 season kicking off on 3rd March in Bahrain.

Jenson Button said: “Always nice to add a new trophy to the collection – and an official Guinness World Record at that. I set my unofficial record in my twenties, so it’s great to see that I’ve still got it, twenty years later.

“We’re looking at one of the most exciting seasons yet with Max, Lewis and the guys at Ferrari – it's definitely looking a three-way race for the Championship this year and I can’t wait to see who comes out on top.”

F1 drivers go through vigorous training to become race ready and experience up to six times the force of gravity as they brake, turn and accelerate in their cutting-edge cars.

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Not only this, an F1 drivers’ heart rate can increase to around 160 to 200 beats per minute in contrast to an average person’s resting heart rate at 60 beats per minute, making it crucial to train aerobically.

While driving in F1, Jenson’s training consisted of cycling, running, boxing and swimming for 16 to 20 hours a week for 17 years – making competitions out of this with other people to see who could run, swim, cycle the furthest really helped spur him on.

Other examples of his gruelling training routine included an eight-hour bike ride up a volcano, skiing up mountains and swimming with sharks.

An impressive achievement

Jamie Schwartz, from NOW added: “We’re glad that we could work with an F1 legend like Jenson and get him into the record books. Setting a new World Record is definitely a great way to kick off the 2023 F1 season which is looking to be one of the best ever.”

Joanne Brent, an adjudicator from Guinness World Records, said: "I've seen countless record attempts, but Jenson Button's achievement in extinguishing 58 Batak lights in 30 seconds was very impressive.

"Breaking this record requires not only lightning-fast reaction times but also the ability to maintain focus and rely on peripheral vision, as Jenson demonstrated during the attempt for the record.

"It's a testament to his skill as a race driver and a reminder that breaking records isn't just about physical ability, but also mental discipline and strategy."

F1 fans can challenge Jenson’s new world record on the official NOW Batak machine on F1 opening weekend with details to be announced via NOW social media channels.

The entire F1 season can be streamed live on NOW from 3rd March as the lights go out first in Bahrain, for more information click here.

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