Jenson Button has confirmed he would be interested in driving on NASCAR’s road courses in future, given the chance to do so.
The 2009 Formula 1 World Champion will be one of an all-star line-up in the Garage 56 entry at this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours, competing alongside former Le Mans winner Mike Rockenfeller and NASCAR legend Jimmie Johnson in a modified Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 – bringing a stock car to the legendary endurance race in June.
The Garage 56 entry at Le Mans is reserved for a car which showcases the technology of the future, with NASCAR team Hendrick Motorsports collaborating with several different entities to try and get the modified Camaro into the field for the centenary running around the Circuit de la Sarthe, including the former F1 champion in the line-up.
Button, Johnson and Rockenfeller gave a press conference at Daytona as their Le Mans entry was announced to the world ahead of the Rolex 24, and this led to questions about whether the Briton would follow the likes of Kimi Raikkonen and Daniil Kvyat in trying their hand at NASCAR in future.
Button is not the first to make the comparison between ovals and road courses, and he feels the different driving style required for an oval may not be in his arsenal right now – but he is certainly willing to try out circuits more closely aligned to what he has raced on before.
“Ovals for me is something where I really respect what the guys do, because it’s far beyond anything I’ve experienced,” Button told reporters in Florida on Saturday.
“Always racing with a little bit of yaw all the way through the corner, racing that close to each other and so close to the wall is a skill I don’t have, I don’t think.
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“I don’t know, I’ve never tried it. But road courses, I’m definitely interested.
“I would definitely be interested in racing on street circuits, road courses, but I just don’t want to jump in for one race – that’s not exciting to me.
“You can come away from it going ‘oh, I did a good job’ [but] you’re not at your maximum. I would want to do all of the road courses if I’m going to do them.
“We’ll see. That’s an option. Obviously, the car is a little bit different to what we’ll be racing at Le Mans.
“Less downforce, heavier, less power and all of that. It’s probably tricky, but I would jump at the chance if I had the opportunity.”
Button has raced once at Le Mans before, but his SMP Racing LMP1 car could not make the finish line back in 2018 – and he has also taken on Japanese Super GT, DTM and Extreme E since retiring from Formula 1 back in 2017, alongside punditry duties for Sky Sports F1.