It would be easy to dismiss it as a marketing gimmick – challenge Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton to lap Kyalami circuit faster than it takes to transport a large amount of data along Vodacom’s new high-speed broadband business network. I can hear the yawns already… But fear not, the fun police were restrained long enough to enable Lewis to jump into a Mercedes C63 AMG.

Fresh from a trademark blast through the field to finish second in Sunday’s Chinese Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton arrived in South Africa to take on this head-to-head battle around Johannesburg’s famous Kyalami grand prix circuit, and it was with a mischievous glint in his eye that Lewis collected the keys to a C63 AMG Saloon – the same car that featured in his incident with the Australian traffic police in Melbourne last month.

Lewis asks if he can 'borrow' the keys to an C63 for some sightseeing around Kyalami's grand prix circuit

The challenge was simple enough: could the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver race around the track and match the speeds of Vodacom Business’ Metro Ethernet Fibre network (Metro E) – a brand-new, super-fast, high-capacity broadband service capable of transporting large amounts of data at extreme speeds.

Lewis was equipped with a Mercedes-Benz AMG C63 (borrowed from a generous Vodacom employee). Metro E was tasked with transporting 5.4GB of data (the equivalent of about five full-length movies) from the suburb of Midrand to the more northerly area of Sandton – about 15km. The data was compiled from images and personal messages from users who uploaded images and videos as part of a competition on,

“I can never resist a challenge,” said Lewis. “I’m a racer at heart, and that applies to everything in my life. So taking part in the race at Kyalami was a fantastic way to demonstrate the speed of the Vodacom network.

Perhaps the owner had second thoughts after Lewis re-appeared wearing his race suit

“I knew it was going to be tough to beat the Vodacom Business Metro E before I arrived in South Africa as we had calculated the lap time required. I have never driven at Kyalami before but it is a great circuit, full of undulations and tough, technical corners. I really enjoyed getting to know the track and after a few attempts I was getting close, with a best flying lap of 120 seconds. Like Metro E, Formula 1 is all about constantly improving technology and performance so perhaps in my Formula 1 race car there would have been a different result. I had a fantastic day and thank you to Vodacom Business for inviting me to Kyalami circuit.”

Lewis was given 3 attempts to set his fastest lap time and you can watch a video of each attempt on SkiddPlayer (just click on the image below to view Lewis’ first attempt)

Click to view the video on SkiddPlayer - Parts 2 and 3 can be found on the McLaren Channel