Jenson Button claims F1 ‘not as technologically advanced’ as World Endurance Championship

Thomas Maher
Jenson Button racing at Road Atlanta for JDC Miller in 2023.

Jenson Button believes the WEC machinery he steps into in 2024 is more advanced than F1.

Jenson Button reckons the hypercar he will race in 2024 is more technologically advanced than any F1 car.

2009 F1 World Champion Jenson Button is making a return to full-time top-level motorsport in 2024, as he’s signed up to race the Jota Sport Porsche 963 hypercar alongside Phil Hanson and Oliver Rasmussen.

Taking on the World Endurance Championship in the top class of the series, Button will thus have a chance at taking on the famous Le Mans 24 Hours in a bid to add a second string to his bow in motorsport’s ‘Triple Crown’ as a winner of the Monaco Grand Prix.

Jenson Button: WEC requires drivers to be experts in engineering

With F1 having become significantly more technologically advanced over the last 20 years as the sport moved away from basic normally aspirated engines to introduce hybrid power units with energy recovery systems, Button believes F1 machines still don’t come close to the technological marvels the hypercar class of WEC represents.

Speaking to the BBC about his return to top-level motorsport, Button admitted he is a “better person when I’m racing”, and that he still feels “at his best”, as well as joking that he had successfully secured a “pass from the wife”.

Button will be 44 years old for his season in the World Endurance Championship. He retired from F1 at the end of 2016 – although he did return a few months later for a one-off appearance at the Monaco GP in place of Fernando Alonso at McLaren as the Spaniard took on the Indy 500.

Button explained how he sees WEC machinery in comparison to F1.

“In F1 cars, the tech is through the roof and it’s the pinnacle of aero[dynamic design], and they are the best teams in the world,” said Button.

“But they are not as technologically advanced as hypercars. LMDH [hypercars] have 38 pages of just what the steering wheel does; there are so many switches… so many different things for the same issue.

“There’s a lot to learn – it’s a staggering amount of stuff and it blows your mind and takes a while to get used to.

“It’s very clever but very complex, and it takes a different type of driver – you need the skill on track but also you need to be an expert in engineering as well.” recommends

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Jenson Button: Hypercars are the coolest-looking cars!

Button took on the Le Mans 24 Hours in 2023, driving for Hendrick Motorsport in the ‘Innovative’ class as he drove a modified NASCAR Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 – an altogether different proposition to when he shows up at the Circuit de la Sarth with Jota in 2024.

The F1 World Champion also took part in a one-off appearance in IMSA at the end of 2023, racing at the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta with JDC-Miller where he and his team-mates finished 23rd.

“Hypercars are the coolest-looking cars ever,” said Button.

“If I drew a car when I was a kid it would have been a hypercar.

“I used to watch Le Mans in the 1980s. That team atmosphere is very different to F1, where team-mates are the first person you’ve got to beat; in endurance racing you work with team-mates to develop the car to win races.”

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