Jenson Button: “The first year I’ve been in a car that can win Le Mans”

One year after the incredible experience of NASCAR Garage 56, Jenson Button returns to Sarthe with the objective of winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans with Hertz Team JOTA.

Published on 14/06/2024 à 14:56

Dorian Grangier

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Jenson Button: “The first year I’ve been in a car that can win Le Mans”

© Julien Delfosse / DPPI

Jenson, you are back at Le Mans, how are you feeling on the eve of the race?

It's great to be here. We've already had three races this year and they haven't really gone the way we wanted. But as a team, all the results have been excellent. I think at Le Mans having good drivers in both cars and a good team around you is all you need. It's a team that performs very well in this race and that really understands it.

You are back in the premier category, but the context with JOTA is totally different from that of SMP Racing in 2018…

Yes: when I raced in 2018 it was a fun experience but we could never have beaten Toyota. They were so much faster than us, but it was more to gain experience for my first time at Le Mans. And then last year, with NASCAR, it was very different because we were competing against no one. So yeah, this is my first year being in a car that can win the race if everything goes according to plan, if we put our all into it... and if we have a little bit of luck, because you always need a little bit of luck at Le Mans. I am in a great team. This team has won several times at Le Mans in LM P2, which is quite impressive, considering everyone has the same cars. This shows the teamwork, quality of strategy, thinking ability and management of the drivers.

What's the most fun to drive at Le Mans: the Porsche or last year's NASCAR?

With NASCAR, it was a lot of fun because the atmosphere was so relaxed. Hendrick Motorsports is a very professional team, no doubt about that, but it was definitely a fun weekend. You can't really compare because it's so different, but once you get into racing you always find ways to challenge yourself. We wanted to be in front of all the GTE Ams. We wanted every pit stop to go well. And the main thing was to finish, which is what we did. It was very cool. And when you fight even with an LM P2, it's incredible. This car was very fast.

Everyone talks about the beauty of 24H of Le Mans, but is there something you would like to change?

No because the atmosphere is great, the race is great… Maybe the number of days we have to spend here is too many. I arrived on Thursday last week and when you have a family it's a long time away from home. I would like a shorter week if possible!

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Dorian Grangier

A young journalist nostalgic for the motorsport of yesteryear. Raised on the exploits of Sébastien Loeb and Fernando Alonso.

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