2009 F1 Champion Jenson Button to Join Hertz JOTA for 2024 WEC Season

January 7, 2024Ramon Jones

Today it was announced that Jenson Button will make a return to the World Endurance Championship as a driver for Hertz Team JOTA for the 2024 season. He will debut on track at the season opener in Qatar in March. Button had the following words regarding the move.

Button Responds to questions from the FIA Media

After receiving a warm welcome Button said, “Thanks – this is a fantastic opportunity with Hertz Team JOTA. It’s a team that I’ve watched for several years and I’ve got many friends that work for the team. It was such an exciting opportunity to race in a championship that is one of the most competitive categories in motorsport right now… and to do it with a privateer team fighting against the big manufacturers is very exciting.”

FIA: Why did you make the choice to return to WEC now?

Button: “Well, I’ve been racing since F1 – I raced in Japan in Super GT, I was in WEC in 2018. I’ve tried loads of different things… the 24 Hours of Daytona too but you feel that you don’t maximise what you can achieve with one-off races. And you don’t get the best out of yourself doing it that way. So, I wanted to do a full season. You don’t get a lot of practice pre-season and I wanted to do a whole season to see what we could achieve in WEC this year.”

FIA: You raced in the final IMSA round last season with the Porsche 963, how did that go?

Button: “Yes, I did Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta. I had one day of testing before the race and I got used to driving the car pretty quickly but it’s all the tech stuff that takes a while to get used to. It feels like there’s 20 switches for one thing, but they all do it slightly differently. These cars are very clever – they learn as you drive around as well. You can pinpoint certain corners of the data that you want something to change and it will change without touching anything  – very clever but very complex. It takes a different type of driver. There’s skill on track but you need to be an expert in engineering as well.”

FIA: In 2024, you’ll enter your third 24 Hours of Le Mans – how much do you enjoy that event?

Button: “I used to watch Le Mans back in the 80s and so to go back to Le Mans and race in the WEC is exciting. That team atmosphere that you have is very different to F1 where your team-mate is the first person you’ve got to beat. In endurance racing, you’re working with your team-mates to develop the car to win races. Everyone thinks Le Mans is just an endurance race and people will take it easy – but it’s not, everyone drives flat out for 24 hours!

Plus everyone has already been awake for 40 or so hours – you don’t just wake up and go racing. It’s emotional and that’s the word I would use to describe Le Mans. Whether you win or lose, crash or finish – you just want to cry! You’ve been through so much with your team-mates, you just celebrate the end of the race. That’s what I love about it. It’s a tough race on driver and machine. I can’t believe I’ve only actually raced there twice but I’m looking forward to adding to that tally over the next few years.”

After retiring from Formula 1 in 2016 Button can’t seem to stay away from the race track. This is definitely a testament to his passion for the sport and it looks like he has unfinished business. After his positive drive at Petit Le Man in Atlanta for the IMSA season finale. We expect Button to come back to the World Endurance Championship with full steam as Hertz JOTA will be looking to shake off the rust for a 2024 championship run.