London - Jenson Button has withdrawn from this year's 24 Hours of Le Mans and will be replaced at SMP Racing by his former McLaren Formula One team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne, the Russian team said on Friday.
Belgian Vandoorne, who left Formula One at the end of 2018 and is now competing in the Formula E electric series, will also replace New Zealander Brendon Hartley at the Six Hours of Spa World Endurance Championship (WEC) round on May 4.
Button, the 2009 Formula One world champion, cited his partner's pregnancy as a reason for withdrawing from Le Mans, the highlight of the WEC season on June 15-16.
"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," the Briton said in an SMP statement.
"The decision has been made easier for me as I feel that the Toyota is currently unbeatable."