Jenson Button drives all the cool stuff. He recently finished a run at the Mint 400 off road race, he’s running a full season of Japanese Super GT, and he’d planned to run the Le Mans 24 again with SMP Racing. Extenuating circumstances have pulled Button away from the Russian team to focus on his home life, and he won’t be racing at Le Mans this year, reports Autoweek.
Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso were teammates at McLaren for the 2016 and 2017 Formula One seasons, and they even shared a car when Jenson took over for Fernando while he was out on Indianapolis 500 leave in 2017. Now that they’re both no longer racing in F1, there seems to be a competition between them to see which can race the coolest shit around the world.
Alonso and Button both competed at Le Mans in 2018 with the Spaniard winning the race overall and the Briton blowing up his engine in the final hour. Jenson ran four races with the SMP Racing team in 2018, even netting a podium at the 6 hours of China. The Le Mans effort was on his calendar for June this year as well, but he’s since bowed out because his girlfriend is pregnant and he wants to spend his time with her instead of a month alone in France.
SMP announced that Button would be replaced with Stoffel Vandoorne for the 6 hours of Spa and Le Mans, teaming with Vitaly Petrov and Mikhail Aleshin. In the announcement, Button mentioned that he felt the current ruleset is too favorable toward the factory Toyota team, and SMP had no chance of winning, which made his decision easier.
This decision shouldn’t preclude him from continuing his plan to compete at the Baja 1000 later this year, however. Which is still super badass.