Your car did 108 laps today. Why so many?
It’s good to get a lot of laps because we collect plenty of data that we can analyse next week. We wanted drivers to have as much practice as possible to get used to the alterations on the circuit. The more you drive, the more confident you are. That’s why we did so many laps. We were pleased there were no reliability issues. Now we’re going to focus on getting ready for race week.
What did you think of the other Toyota TS050 HYBRID’s performance? And how did your opponents do?
It’s hard to tell because traffic makes a big difference. It’s not easy to get a clear run with the whole field on track. The timings per sector are more relevant than anything. The #7 is close behind us, as usual. As for the other teams, it’s difficult to see. We’re very similar to last year but the others seem a bit slower.
We’ve had the same car for three years now. So there won’t be a revolution.
Your car is slightly heavier than last year. What difference does it make?
You can’t really tell. You hardly notice a difference between a full tank and an empty one, which is about 35kg, so 10kg more doesn’t register. Lighter is better, but you don’t actually feel it at the wheel.
What could you change on the car between now and the race?
You have to remember that track conditions change all the time, so we’ll be looking to optimise the car for all eventualities. We know there’ll be rubber deposits as time goes on and that changes the balance of the car. With precise forecasting, we can be prepare the car for anything. That said, we’ve had the same car for three years now. So there won’t be a revolution.
You won last year. Presumably, you’d like to do the same again and win the World Endurance Championship as well?
Of course, that would be fantastic. But 24 hours is a long time and the race is so difficult that nobody can predict the outcome. For a start, we have to keep the car on the track, make no mistakes and take no unnecessary risks. Depending on our race pace, we’ll go for the win, or settle for just the championship.
PHOTO: LE MANS (SARTHE, FRANCE), CIRCUIT DES 24 HEURES DU MANS, SUNDAY 2 JUNE 2019, TEST DAY. Sébastien Buemi, driver of the Toyota Gazoo Racing #8 Toyota TS050 HYBRID, at the post-Test Day press conference.
BREAKING NEWS: THE 24 HOURS OF LE MANS POSTPONED TO 19–20 SEPTEMBER 2020