Motor Racing: Jenson Button to go head-to-head with Fernando Alonso at Le Mans

Jenson Button, who won the F1 title in 2009, will race for Russian team SMP.
Jenson Button, who won the F1 title in 2009, will race for Russian team SMP.PHOTO: REUTERS

PARIS (AFP) - Former Formula One world champion, Jenson Button, said on Friday (April 27) that he will race in the World Endurance Championship (WEC) this season including the Le Mans 24 Hours on June 16 and 17.

The 38-year-old Briton won the F1 title in 2009 and retired before the 2016 season and he took part in one endurance race, the 24 Hours of Spa in 1999.

He will race for Russian team SMP where he will drive in a car alongside two Russians, Mikhail Aleshin, who has raced in IndyCar, and Vitaly Petrov, who was in F1.

"With those two and the experience we all have from different types of racing, and the team's fantastic experience in endurance racing, we have a great chance to fight at the front and fight for the win, and I can't wait to get going," Button was quoted as saying on the SMP team website.

Button will race the whole WEC programme except for Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium in early May which clashes with the second leg of the Japanese Super GT, where he is also racing.

"As you can imagine, it has been a dream of mine to race at Le Mans," Button said in a video on the SMP website.

At Le Mans, Button will compete against former McLaren team-mate Fernando Alonso, who is driving a Toyota and hoping to complete the driver's triple crown of Le Mans, Monaco Grand Prix and Indy 500.