Former F1 champion Jenson Button will return to a world championship next season with a Porsche hypercar from JOTA in the World Endurance Championship, after Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen declined the opportunity.
‣ Former Formula 1 world champions Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen declined an offer to join JOTA in the hypercar class of the World Endurance Championship (WEC).
‣ Jenson Button, the 2009 F1 champion, will return to a world championship next season with a Porsche hypercar from JOTA.
‣ Button mentioned that hypercars are more technologically advanced than Formula 1 cars, with complex steering wheel functions that require a lot of learning.
‣ This will be Button’s first full season in motorsport since his F1 career, and he will be 44 years old when the new season starts on 19 January.
Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen were in the mix. Both ex-Formula 1 world champs, however, gave a thumbs down to a JOTA hypercar class adventure in the World Endurance Championship (WEC). In the end, JOTA signed a former F1 champ. But, it wasn’t a done deal from the get-go.
Jenson Button is the guy. He’s making a comeback to world championship next season. He’ll be behind the wheel of a Porsche hypercar from JOTA. The 2009 F1 champ is stoked about this. He told the BBC, “I’m still at my best. Got a green light from the wife.” He added, “Racing makes me a better person.”
Button’s got his work cut out for him. Formula 1 is the crème de la crème of motorsport. It boasts mind-blowing aerodynamic designs and, in Button’s words, the world’s top teams. “But they’re not as tech-savvy as hypercars. LMDH [hypercars] have a 38-page manual just for the steering wheel. So many switches, so many solutions for the same problem. There’s a ton to learn – it’s mind-boggling and takes some getting used to,” Button admitted.
Button’s no spring chicken. He’s 43 now, but he’ll be 44 before the new season kicks off on January 19. He spent the lion’s share of his career in Formula 1. Over 18 seasons, he raced in a whopping 306 Grands Prix. He’s also made guest appearances in various classes, like last season’s 24 Hours of Le Mans. This is the first time since his F1 days that Button will be running a full season in motorsport.