Reigning Le Mans winner Sebastien Buemi, #8 Toyota GAZOO Racing, has adapted his driving style for the Hypercar compared to the TS050 Hybrid.
The three-time Le Mans 24 Hours winner has talked about adapting certain elements of his driving style to suit the characteristics of the GR010 Hybrid Le Mans Hypercar.
He said: “Most of the things are down to the regulations, [like] the fact that we don’t have to save fuel, or let’s say energy anymore.
“Makes it a little bit tricky for us, because, we were used to have all automatic and now all of a sudden, you can brake late and hard, and it gives you the feeling of being back to kind-of old school racing.”
Compared to the TS050 Hybrid LMP1 predecessor, the regulations need the cars to lift-and-coast into the corner, with that system being an automatic (or manual) regulation of battery and fuel usage per lap.
The KERS on the GR010 Hybrid propels the front wheels as opposed to both front and rear in the TS050 Hybrid, although the bias was mostly towards the front on deployment.
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The 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps winner continued: “The car is a bit heavier, and generally a little bit slower. So in the traffic it’s a bit different.
“There’s some good stuff and bad stuff.
“The good stuff is that because you don’t go as fast as before you. You overtake less than before. But on the other hand, you are a little bit slower.
“So yeah, I just had to adapt it a little bit to the new characteristics of the car. But so far, it’s been it’s been okay.”
Buemi also highlighted that their Hypercar is “still young” and whilst all matters of performance and reliability have been satisfactory so far, there is still more to improve after just one race.
He acknowledged the “work-in-progress” proceedings on perfecting the new Balance of Performance measures as he hopes for an increased buffer to the LMP2 field.
The 8 Hours of Portimão takes place on Sunday 13 June from 11am to 7pm (BST) where the Toyota GAZOO Racing team will attempt to seek out another victory against competitors Alpine Elf Matmut and Glickenhaus Racing.