Button, who retired from F1 at the end of 2016 (although made a one-race reunite at Monaco in 2017), has been competing in Japan’s Super GT, but announced on Friday that he will be linking Vitaly Petrov and Mikhail Aleshin behind the wheel of the #11 model BR1 LMP1 car.

The debut of button will come in the world-famous 24 Hours of Le Mans in June. He will therefore skip the opening race in Spa-Francorchamps due to a Super GT conflict, but will compete in the seven following WEC occasions, as well as the running of Le Mans.

“I’m pleased to be a part of this SMP Racing team in the World Endurance Championship,” said Button.

“My partners that this season will be Mikhail Aleshin and Vitaly Petrov.  I know Vitaly nicely and Mikhail – on his achievement in IndyCar.  I think that with the experience that we have gathered in various racing series, as well as with the experience of the team in the race and both, we’ll have an excellent chance.  I’m excited about the race”

Team founder and head of this SMP Racing program, Boris Rothenberg, added:”I am pleased to welcome Jenson Button as part of our team.  This is an outstanding world class pilot and world champion of Formula 1.

“He will perform in the team with our most powerful pilots, Mikhail Aleshin and Vitaly Petrov, in the car of the maximum category LMP1 – BR1.

“This system is constructed by the best specialists of the Russian firm BR Engineering and also the Dallara concern, using the most recent technology of world motorsport.  We are all confident that the team will be quite robust and will be worthy of rivalry to rivals from around the world.”

SMP Racing will field two cars, with the piloted by Matevos Isaakyan, Egor Orudzhev and Stephane Sarrazin.