Button joins SMP Racing for 2018/19 WEC campaign

Ex-Formula 1 champion Jenson Button will race for the SMP Racing LMP1 team in the 2018/19 FIA World Endurance Championship season, starting with this year's Le Mans 24 Hours.

Button joins SMP Racing for 2018/19 WEC campaign

Button will make his WEC debut in the French endurance classic in one of SMP's two AER-powered, Dallara-built BR1s alongside Russian duo Vitaly Petrov and Mikhail Aleshin.

It follows his first steps into sportscar racing with Honda in Super GT, which Button is contesting full-time this season after making his debut in last year's Suzuka 1000km.

"As you can imagine it's always been a dream of mine to race at Le Mans, I think it's every driver's dream to take part and hopefully go on to clinch that win at Le Mans, and I'm definitely no different," said the 2009 F1 champion.

"My teammates will be Aleshin and Petrov, who I know very well from his racing in F1, and Mikhail from his IndyCar exploits.

"We go to Le Mans to fight for the win. Every driver aims to win every race they go in for, but I think we really do have a good chance of being competitive at Le Mans."

Button is expected to contest every race on the 2018/19 WEC schedule with the exception of next week's Spa opener, which partially clashes with the Fuji Super GT round.

Petrov and Aleshin will race at Spa as a duo, while Stephane Sarrazin, Matevos Isaakyan and Egor Orudzhev form the line-up in the sister #17 BR1-AER.

Button's signing completes the LMP1 grid for Le Mans, which is as follows:

No. Team Car Drivers
1  Rebellion Racing Rebellion R13-Gibson

 Andre Lotterer
 Neel Jani

 Bruno Senna

3  Rebellion Racing Rebellion R13-Gibson

 Thomas Laurent

 Mathias Beche

 Gustavo Menezes

4  ByKolles Racing Team ENSO CLM P1/01-Nismo

 Oliver Webb

 Dominik Kraihamer

 Tom Dillmann

5  Manor TRSM Racing Ginetta G60-LT-P1-Mecachrome

 Charlie Robertson

 Dean Stoneman

 Leo Roussel

6  Manor TRSM Racing Ginetta G60-LT-P1-Mecachrome

 Oliver Rowland

 Alex Brundle

 Oliver Turvey

7  Toyota Racing Toyota TS050 Hybrid

 Mike Conway

 Kamui Kobayashi

 Jose Maria Lopez

8  Toyota Racing Toyota TS050 Hybrid

 Sebastien Buemi
 Kazuki Nakajima

 Fernando Alonso

10  DragonSpeed BR1-Gibson

 Ben Hanley

 Henrik Hedman

 Renger van der Zande

11  SMP Racing BR1-AER

 Mikhail Aleshin

 Vitaly Petrov

 Jenson Button

17  SMP Racing BR1-AER

 Egor Orudzhev

 Matevos Isaakyan

 Stephane Sarrazin

#11 SMP Racing BR Engineering BR1: Mikhail Aleshin, Vitaly Petrov
#11 SMP Racing BR Engineering BR1: Mikhail Aleshin, Vitaly Petrov

Photo by: JEP / LAT Images

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