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Button Completes First LMP1 Test

Jenson Button prepares for 24H Le Mans debut with five hours of running in BR1 prototype…

Photo: SMP Racing

Jenson Button has completed his first LMP1 test with SMP Racing ahead of the Briton’s 24 Hours of Le Mans debut next month.

The 2009 Formula One world champion got behind the wheel of the No. 11 BR Engineering BR1 AER at Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours in France.

Button is set to make his first appearance at the French endurance classic on June 16-17 in a lineup with Vitaly Petrov and Mikhail Aleshin, and in the same class as former F1 teammate Fernando Alonso.

Petrov and Aleshin contested last weekend’s Total Six Hours of Spa as a pair, with Button’s Super GT commitments at Fuji forcing him to miss the FIA World Endurance Championship season-opener.

“I’m smiling from ear to ear!”, said Button on his Instagram account after the extensive run.

“Had my first test in [the] SMP Racing BR1 and absolutely loved it, nice for my first test to be around Magny-Cours as it’s one of my favorite circuits and I have a lot of great memories from racing there.

“A solid five hours of testing and I’m already feeling comfortable behind the wheel of the beast! Still some areas of improvement needed but a good starting point thanks to Vitaly and Mikhail.”

SMP confirmed that Button drove in day and night conditions, using the low-downforce ‘Le Mans’ version of the BR1’s aero kit that the team raced at Spa.

“We are very happy after the first test day with Jenson in Magny Cours,” said a BR Engineering representative.

“He was immediately comfortable in the car and enjoyed a full testing day, including day and night runs.

“Jenson had a series of long and short stints and extracted most of the car in each run.”

Button, who is signed on to complete the rest of the 2018-19 ‘Super Season’, will rejoin the Russian team for the official Le Mans test day on June 3 ahead of his race debut.

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365 and e-racing365, with a focus on the FIA World Endurance Championship and various electric racing series.



  1. Flippy

    May 10, 2018 at 9:34 am


  2. Marc

    May 10, 2018 at 9:35 am

    Sole remaining BR1 chassis? You got to think both of the crashes at Spa were on his mind!

  3. Chris

    May 10, 2018 at 10:24 am

    Jenson still having fun. Congrats.

  4. Steve

    May 10, 2018 at 10:52 am

    Most undeserving world champion since Damon Hill.

    • N8

      May 10, 2018 at 12:56 pm

      As if no one has ever ridden good luck and the best car in the field to a championship before.

      • Nige

        May 10, 2018 at 5:44 pm

        Where did mansell fall then?

  5. Andy Flinn

    May 10, 2018 at 4:45 pm

    At least he has the guts to try sports car racing.

    I can’t say the same for all former F1 world champions.

    • Nige

      May 10, 2018 at 5:44 pm

      Yeah because Alonso doesn’t show he wants to drive other formats

      • Pay Driver

        May 10, 2018 at 10:20 pm

        Don’t think he’s talking about Fernando, Nige.

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