F1 world champion Button gets SMP WEC LMP1 deal starting at Le Mans

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

Button, the 2009 world champion, will make his debut at Le Mans in one of SMP's two AER-powered, Dallara-built BR1s alongside Russian duo Vitaly Petrov and Mikhail Aleshin.

It follows his first steps in 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.

"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 team-mates will be Mikhail Aleshin and Vitaly Petrov, who I know very well from his racing in F1 [Petrov], 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 will 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.

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