Sebastien Buemi fears Toyota will have no excuses if it fails to win this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours as the sole LMP1 hybrid manufacturer but is confident his team is fully prepared for the race learning from its previous heartaches.

Toyota enter the 2018 Le Mans 24 Hours as the only LMP1 hybrid squad after the departure of Porsche and Audi from the class in consecutive years. Toyota's ranks are boosted by two-time Formula 1 world champion Fernando Alonso joining Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima in the #8 Toyota TS050 Hybrid.

While the Japanese manufacturer has suffered badly with incidents and reliability in recent years at Le Mans it is strongly tipped for victory this year given its significant performance advantage over its rivals.

Magic of Le Mans

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Buemi says Toyota’s primary focus during its preparations for Le Mans has been to ensure its reliability is as strong as possible and concedes his team cannot have any reasons to deny it a long-awaited win.

“Every year that we come here and don’t win it adds to the pressure and we have no excuses,” Buemi said. “We are well prepared and the problem of not winning before is a problem so that’s why we’ve focused a lot on reliability and hopefully it’ll be a good year.

“We all want to win at every race but we want Toyota to win this one. It needs to happen. Of course I’d love and prefer it to be my car but we need the team to win this race.

“We know things can happen and nobody is ever sure of winning it even when Audi and Peugeot were bringing four cars they were not sure of winning the race. You need to keep pushing.

“Look at last year, an LMP2 nearly won the race but it was really close with the Porsche. Things can happen so that’s why we are prepared as well as possible.”

The Swiss driver, whose best results at Le Mans remain a pair of second places with Toyota in 2013 and 2014, says Alonso’s high-profile integration to Toyota and the World Endurance Championship has been smooth and feels he brings new qualities to his team’s line-up.

“It’s been really good as it was decided quite early that he was going to join the team so it means he’s done almost all the testing with us, he only missed the Prologue,” he said. That felt good because he is really part of the team. He is also racing in F1 but he’s completely inside the team with no problems at all. As a driver and teammate I feel really comfortable with that.

“He has a lot of experience even though the categories are different there are many things you do in F1 that are just a little step higher in terms of details. He constantly brings new things, new ideas, new details to things that are already established which is quite cool because it’s a plus.”



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