Button to participate in triathlon

Jenson Button will take time out from Formula 1 this weekend to compete in the Hawaiian Triathlon, The (London) Times reported Thursday.

Instead of enjoying time off ahead of the second grand prix of 2011 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the 2009 F1 world champion will participate in a grueling event that includes a 1,600-yard (1.5km) swim, a 25-mile (40km) bike ride and 6.2-mile (10km) run on the Pacific island on Sunday.

But the McLaren driver, who finished sixth in the season-opener in Melbourne last weekend, insists that taking part in the endurance event will not hamper his preparations for the Malaysian Grand Prix on April 9.

"I’m really excited about this weekend. It’s going to be good, and great to do it in the humidity as well," the 28-year-old said.

"It will really put me in the right frame of mind because getting used to the humidity is so important for Malaysia."

The Englishman, who has twice completed the London triathlon, could see his performance improve after receiving cycling advice from Lance Armstrong, the seven-time Tour de France winner.

"We met up and went for a couple of rides. It was an amazing experience and a great opportunity to learn from someone who has achieved so much," Button said. "It was good for my training, and hopefully that will come out."

Lewis Hamilton, Button’s McLaren teammate, is also planning to take the weekend off and fly back to Britain to watch his younger brother compete in the Renault Clio Cup.

Nicolas Hamilton, who suffers from cerebral palsy, will make his racing debut for Total Control Racing at the one-make saloon car series event at Brands Hatch in Kent, England, on Saturday.