Another Formula One World Champion joins the FIA World Endurance Championship Super Season as Jenson Button is confirmed as part of SMP Racing’s LMP1 driver lineup.
It was announced this morning that 2009 Formula One World Champion Jenson Button would be joining the inaugural FIA World Endurance Championship Super Season as part of Russian LMP1 Team, SMP Racing. The British driver will join Mikael Aleshin and Vitaly Petrov in the #11 BR Engineering BR1-AER.
— WEC (@FIAWEC) April 27, 2018
Button will make his WEC debut at the 2018 24 Hours of Le Mans and will be staying with the team for the remainder of the Super Season, alongside his current full-season Super GT commitments. The drive with SMP Racing will also give Button the chance to experience the Circuit de la Sarthe before his other Le Mans commitment – the Le Mans Classic, in July of this year. That now means a total of 23 F1 drivers will be lining up on the grid at Le Mans, including Button’s former McLaren teammate Fernando Alonso, Columbian Juan-Pablo Montoya as part of the United Autosports team and Pastor Maldonado in the Dragonspeed LMP2.
“I am pleased to welcome Jenson Button as part of our team,” said the founder and head of the SMP Racing program Boris Rothenberg. “This is an outstanding world-class pilot, world champion of Formula 1. He will perform in the crew with our strongest pilots, Mikhail Aleshin and Vitaly Petrov, in the car of the highest category LMP1 – BR1. This machine is built by the best specialists of the Russian company BR Engineering and the Dallara concern, using the latest technology of world motorsport. We are all confident that the crew will be very strong and will be worthy of competition to rivals from around the world. ”
“I’m happy to be part of the SMP Racing team at the World Endurance Championship,” said Jenson Button. “My partners this year will be Mikhail Aleshin and Vitaly Petrov. I know Vitali well on his performance in Formula 1, and Mikhail – on his success in IndyCar. I think that with them two and the experience that we have accumulated in different racing series, as well as with the fantastic experience of the team in the endurance race, we will have an excellent chance to fight in the forefront and claim victory. I’m looking forward to the race. “