Porsche has announced it will enter a third LMP1 class Porsche 919 Hybrid for the 2015 running of the Le Mans 24 Hours.
Porsche joined the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), which includes Le Mans, this year after a 16-year absence from top-flight sports car racing.
An expanded line up for the French classic comes as no great surprise. But, for the next couple of weeks at least, there will be much speculation about who will drive the car.
Porsche has tested five of its factory GT drivers in the 919 and is known to have invited three back for further runs in the car. Porsche has not revealed who those drivers are, but there is one name that will inevitably crop up in corners of the internet such as this one. That name is Jenson Button.
Button’s current employers, the McLaren Formula 1 team, will announce their 2015 driver line up on December 1. Should Button not be included, driving for Porsche in a world championship would make an excellent Plan B.
Former Red Bull racer Mark Webber has already blazed the trail, announcing his switch to Porsche long before the end of his F1 career in 2013. And he has tweeted about his wish to have Button join him at the Stuttgart squad.
But we can speculate all we want. If Button does find himself out of work in F1, it will still be some time before Porsche reveals its drivers.
All we know for sure at the moment is that current drivers Timo Bernhard, Romain Dumas, Brendon Hartley, Neel Jani, Marc Lieb and Webber have all been retained for next year.
Porsche has had a baptism of fire in its first season of WEC racing. A podium finish first time out at Silverstone was a strong start, and the car showed front-running pace at Le Mans, the effort ultimately undone by reliability issues.
Still, five podium placings, including a two-three finish at the last race in Bahrain, is a decent return. Especially as, in recent races, Porsche has outdone long-time dominators Audi. Though both are up against an in-form Toyota, which has already claimed the Manufacturers’ and Drivers’ Championships. One round remains.