Jenson Button's hopes of scoring his first podium finish at Silverstone in almost 20 years were ended early in Sunday's FIA World Endurance Championship round as the Briton's car was forced into an early retirement.

Button failed to score a top-three finish at Silverstone through his 17-year Formula 1 career, crossing the line fourth in the British Grand Prix on three separate occasions. His last appearance on the podium at Silverstone came in a British Formula 3 race back in 1999.

Button entered his first home race weekend in the WEC hopeful of ending this drought, teaming up with Vitaly Petrov and Mikhail Aleshin for SMP Racing in the #11 BR Engineering BR1 AER, with the trio starting the race third.

Aleshin took the start for SMP Racing and managed to hold on to third place in the opening stages, only for a suspected engine issue to arise that forced the Russian to slow down and park up at the side of the track inside the first hour of the race.

"I had a comment from the team to stop the car and that was it. I saw the smoke and felt the loss of power, and that was it," Aleshin told Radio Le Mans following the issue.

"What I would say is to our fans is sorry for that. Sorry for Jenson’s fans who came here, but racing is racing, sometimes you have problems.”

Button took to Twitter to post a message to his fans, thanking them for coming out at Silverstone to cheer him on.

"We were running in 3rd so really disappointing for the whole team and for the fans that came out to support us for which we’re so grateful," Button wrote.

Button's next WEC appearance with SMP Racing will come in October at the 6 Hours of Fuji.


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