2nd place for Buemi and historic double podium for Toyota
On the new GR010 HYBRID’s Le Mans debut, last year’s winners Sébastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima and Brendon Hartley completed a perfect result for the team, which has now won all four races of the 2021 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) so far.
An incident-packed 24 hours began on a wet track and saw Sébastien drop to the back of the field on the first racing lap, when the #8 was hit by the #708 Glickenhaus. Sébastien brought the #8 car into contention despite further misfortunes.
With four laps in hand over the third-placed Alpine, and no prospect of a quick repair, a remarkable team effort tested several options until an effective counter-measure was developed. The drivers had to activate a specific setting at defined points around the track to return the #8 car to normal stint lengths.
“I’m happy to finish second after the first lap. Obviously we always wanted to win, but this is a great day for Toyota. The first time we came here with the Hypercar and we finished first and second; that was the objective and we achieved it. I’m happy for car #7 because they deserved it very much. We had a few technical issues but somehow the team did a great job to work around it. We didn’t have any margin and we had to make everything perfect, so hats off to the whole team. I’m pleased for my friends, who came very close many times.” Sébastien Buemi