Jenson Button's first experience of Le Mans 'disconcerting'

Formula 1 world champion Jenson Button says his first experience of Le Mans was "another world" from what he is used to, but ended the official test day happy with his confidence levels

Jenson Button's first experience of Le Mans 'disconcerting'

Button completed 20 laps around the Circuit de la Sarthe in the #11 SMP Racing BR Engineering BR1-AER he shares with fellow ex-F1 racer Vitaly Petrov and Mikhail Aleshin.

"I was reasonably happy, but in the morning I found it another world - driving around here in a car I don't really know," Button said.

"I found it quite disconcerting. But we made some good changes over lunch, and I was much happier with the car in the afternoon.

"[I had] a lot more confidence. High speed, good confidence, and the braking was much better too.

"A lot of the corners here are very tight and they come up on you very quickly, which is very different from what I'm used to.

"I definitely got to grips with it in the afternoon, much happier. But you always want more running, and new tyres.

"Hopefully we get some good laps in the Wednesday tests."

Petrov ended the day fifth quickest with a lap of 3m21.603s, but the team's on-track running was limited by two issues, one in the morning and another just after lunch.

Button's best time was a 3m24.002s, set on his penultimate lap of the day.

"We lost a lot time because of a sensor issue this morning, so we lost a couple of hours just in the garage, it was a shame," he explained.

"Then we had another small issue after lunch, so our track on time was quite limited. I only ran one set of tyres, not a new set.

"I think I did 20 laps, but I learnt a lot. This place is all about building confidence and gaining time.

"You can go out and be as quick as you can, but there's a big chance you'll go off.

"You've really got to respect this circuit. It's tough.

"I feel very confident now at the end of the day, but I'd rather have had another 50 laps."

shares
comments
Fernando Alonso fastest for Toyota on Le Mans test day
Previous article

Fernando Alonso fastest for Toyota on Le Mans test day

Next article

Toyota: Rebellion, SMP are 'very serious competitors' at Le Mans

Toyota: Rebellion, SMP are 'very serious competitors' at Le Mans
How Formula E's double-duty drivers influenced their Le Mans teams' fortunes Plus

How Formula E's double-duty drivers influenced their Le Mans teams' fortunes

Eight Formula E drivers made the 7,000-mile sprint from the streets of Jakarta to the fabled Circuit de la Sarthe and every one had a story to share at this year's Le Mans 24 Hours. Despite a range of triumphs and disappointments, each driver doubling up on the day job played a key role in their teams' fortunes

Le Mans
Jun 14, 2022
How an Italian junior formula giant is readying for its Le Mans future Plus

How an Italian junior formula giant is readying for its Le Mans future

Prema remains a colossus in single-seaters, but the serial Formula 2 and Formula 3 title-winning squad has joined forces with top GT squad Iron Lynx for an attack on sportscars in the World Endurance Championship and European Le Mans Series. Ahead of its debut at the Le Mans 24 Hours, its sights are firmly fixed on LMP2 glory – and a future in Hypercars next year...

Le Mans
Jun 8, 2022
The British rookies targeting a good first impression at Le Mans Plus

The British rookies targeting a good first impression at Le Mans

Three young Britons will make their first starts in the Le Mans 24 Hours this weekend in the highly-competitive 23-car GTE Am field. But how did they get here? Autosport hears their stories.

Le Mans
Jun 7, 2022
The wingless wonder Peugeot hopes will restore it to Le Mans glory Plus

The wingless wonder Peugeot hopes will restore it to Le Mans glory

Peugeot went radical with the initial plan for its Le Mans Hypercar project, and then stuck to its guns. Here’s how things are shaping up a few weeks before the debut of the 9X8 in next month's Monza World Endurance Championship round

WEC
Jun 1, 2022
How Toyota’s sole survivor turned the tables at Spa Plus

How Toyota’s sole survivor turned the tables at Spa

After a chastening opening to the season at Sebring that ended in an enormous accident, Toyota's #7 crew got their World Endurance Championship underway with victory at a treacherously slippery Spa to make up for its sister car's Sebring defeat to Alpine, as Glickenhaus's promising qualifying turned to disaster in the race

WEC
May 9, 2022
The Chinese sportscar protege targeting a path to the top with Porsche Plus

The Chinese sportscar protege targeting a path to the top with Porsche

Yifei Ye came within one lap of winning the LMP2 class on his Le Mans 24 Hours debut last year, and his eye-catching 2021 has gained Porsche’s interest. With the German manufacturer preparing for a return to the top tier, the Chinese youngster is on the path to join it

WEC
Apr 14, 2022
How WEC got off to a stormy start in 2022 as rulemakers dampen Toyota's dominance Plus

How WEC got off to a stormy start in 2022 as rulemakers dampen Toyota's dominance

Toyota’s stranglehold on the World Endurance Championship ended at the 2022 opener at Sebring, but all accusing eyes were on the Balance of Performance system as the key to the shake-up. Here's how it unfolded, to see Alpine celebrating under a stormy sky having blown away the defending champions

WEC
Mar 21, 2022
Why Penske remains ambitious for its WEC learning year Plus

Why Penske remains ambitious for its WEC learning year

Team Penske is gearing up for its role in running Porsche’s LMDh programme from 2023 by entering this year's World Endurance Championship with an LMP2 car. Although the team is considering 2022 as a season to learn, it is no less serious about winning than ever - which should make the already fiercely competitive class even more so

WEC
Mar 17, 2022