After his experience at the 2012 Le Mans 24 Hours, Sébastien Buemi is back in the TOYOTA Racing team. This year, he will again share the wheel of one of the two TS030 HYBRID with Anthony Davidson and Stéphane Sarrazin.
After several months away from TOYOTA Racing, how do you deal with this comeback to endurance?
“It is a big pleasure to join again the team and to drive the car. Everything goes well and after only two tests sessions I already did some very long distance runs. All this work, including tests, is very productive. In addition, the atmosphere is just great!”
Le Mans 24 Hour race and the WEC, two real challenges…
“Apart from Le Mans which is a really special event, the WEC is also a great challenge. This is a nice program and the races are strong competitions, I think it will be very interesting. The team won races in 2012 but we want to win more this year!”
Two months before the kick-off of the season, how is the atmosphere within the team?
“I found many changes in the team but very positive changes. It becomes more unified, which goes exactly in the right direction to achieve our goals. We still have to work to be more and more efficient and the spirit is perfectly fitting to the situation. Last year, we started from a blank page, or nearly so, and there is no comparison to be made with this year where circumstances are much better. But we must continue to work hard, and certainly not ease off our efforts.”
Have you been impressed by the updated version of the TS030 HYBRID?
“It is obvious that the car improved since I drove in Le Mans eight months ago. But it is difficult to analyse the level of progress made compared to other competitors. So even if we remain confident, as we have to be, it is better to stay modest not to be disappointed just in case the result doesn’t meet expectations. When I say this, of course, I think of Le Mans. So we have to work very hard. We are pleased with the improvements made on the car, but is it enough to be at the top? The question remains. I think we should stay focused on our target and not get excited unnecessarily. Endurance races are never easy and anything can happen.”
Two cars, it means six drivers, how is the working relationship?
“I’m the youngest but this is not a problem. I learn a lot from my team-mates who have a lot of experience in such races. Everyone has his own personality but when we have to work all together, everything is perfectly matching.”