until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

WEC/Le Mans

Button joins WEC's Hypercar class as Porsche driver

by Josh Suttill
3 min read

until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

The 2009 Formula 1 world champion Jenson Button will return to the top class of the Le Mans 24 Hours for the first time since 2018.

Porsche customer Jota had been targeting a variety of big names to drive its second Porsche 963 in the World Endurance Championship's flagship Hypercar category in 2024.

Jota, WEC

Jota held initial talks with F1 winners Button, Sebastian Vettel and Robert Kubica. Kubica ultimately signed for Ferrari while talks with Vettel never progressed as far as a test or a deal.

But Button did commit, agreeing to line up alongside Phil Hanson - 2020 LMP2 class winner at Le Mans - and Oliver Rasmussen, who had left the F1 ladder for sportscars in 2022.

Jota's other entry will comprise Formula E regular Norman Nato, sometime F1 driver Will Stevens and Callum Ilott, who had suddenly become a free agent after an abrupt split with the Juncos IndyCar team.

Button will compete in all eight rounds of the 2024 WEC season including a first top class appearance at Le Mans since he raced a privateer SMP Racing machine against the might of Toyota.


He will once again be part of privateer entry battling (a now-inflated) field of manufacturers but should stand a greater chance than in 2018, when his machinery was far inferior to the all-conquering Toyota.

Button will race the same Porsche as the factory team, the 963 being a car that earned two podiums in 2023 when Porsche returned to the top class for the first time since 2017.

The 2023 frontrunners Toyota and Ferrari will join the returning Porsche, Cadillac and Peugeot as well as new entrants BMW, Lamborghini, Alpine and Isotta Fraschini in the nine-manufacturer strong top class in 2024.

Button emphasised his young team-mates' "key" existing experience in endurance racing.

"I’m already looking forward to the first race in Qatar but also know there’s a lot of work to be done so that we arrive prepared," he said.

WEC CEO Frederic Laquien called it an "honour" to have Button in the championship full-time.

Garage 56, WEC

Button's car retired with an engine failure at his debut in 2018 but he took his first Le Mans finish last year aboard the innovative NASCAR Garage 56 Le Mans car.

Button will make his prototype return before his 2024 WEC campaign gets underway as he's tackling the 2024 Daytona 24 Hours in January in a Wayne Taylor Racing/Andretti-run Cadillac.

However, though he'll be going up against 963s in that race he does already have experience racing in the Porsche, having finished fifth in last year's Petit Le Mans at Road America as part of Porsche's IMSA customer JDC-Miller.

Who will Button be racing in WEC?

WEC, Fuji

Defending champion Toyota has added ex-F1 driver Nyck de Vries to its #7 roster to replace Jose Maria Lopez.

Ferrari has added a third car spearheaded by ex-F1 driver and newly-crowned LMP2 champion Kubica.

Porsche has swapped Dane Cameron for Matt Campbell in an otherwise unchanged factory line-up of two cars.

Earl Bamber and Alex Lynn will once again race for Cadillac while 2022 Formula E champion Stoffel Vandoorne will race full-time for Peugeot in place of Gustavo Menezes.

His champion Formula E team-mate Jean-Eric Vergne will continue in the sister Peugeot along with Paul di Resta and Mikkel Jensen.

Ex-Haas F1 driver Mick Schumacher will race for Alpine in its #36 car alongside sportscar veteran Nicolas Lapierre and 2021 LMP2 champion Charles Milesi.

Another ex-F1 driver, Daniil Kvyat, is part of the sole full-season Lamborghini WEC entry along with 2023 DTM runner-up Mirko Bortolotti and Mahindra Formula E driver Edoardo Mortara.

Long-time WRT driver (for Audi and now BMW) Dries Vanthoor and 2022 DTM champion Sheldon van der Linde are BMW's two confirmed drivers so far, with ex-Mercedes GT star Raffaele Marciello among those expected to join them.

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