2009 Formula One World Champion Jenson Button currently competes in the FIA World Endurance Championship. The team that he races for, is called SMP Racing, a team he raced for last year as well.

Now, it seems that the British driver will be skipping the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans this year. The 39-year old cited personal reasons for his unavailability for the race in Le Mans.

He raced in the 24-hour race back in 2018, alongside Mikhail Aleshin and ex F1 driver Vitaly Petrov. Sadly, he was forced to retire from the race due to an engine failure. Now, for the 2019 edition, Jenson Button will be replaced by former McLaren teammate, Stoffel Vandoorne.

Ahead of the event on June 15th, Jenson Button explained his decision in a statement issued by SMP Racing. He said, “I really enjoyed driving for SMP Racing and was happy to be on the podium with this team, but I decided that now I need to spend more time at home with my fiancé during her pregnancy rather than two weeks at Le Mans,”.

Jenson Button
Jenson Button

Jenson Button continued, “The decision has been made easier for me as I feel that the Toyota is currently unbeatable.”

This will not be Vandoorne’s only WEC gig, as he will replace Brendon Hartley at the Six Hours of Spa. Stoffel Vandoorne is currently competing in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship. He is racing for the Mercedes-backed HWA Racing team alongside British driver Gary Paffett.

After enduring a lot of bad luck even after excellent qualifying sessions, Vandoorne finally got the monkey off his back. At the last race in Rome, he scored his maiden podium, though his car later stopped, due to a driveshaft failure. The next race on the calendar will be the Paris ePrix on the 27th of April.

Jenson Button
Jenson Button and Stoffel Vandoorne