Why WEC is no longer a secondary career objective for drivers
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By Adam Proud profile image Adam Proud
2 min read

Why WEC is no longer a secondary career objective for drivers

With more teams entering WEC's hypercar class, it's giving more opportunities for drivers who may not be looking at F1

A few years ago, the World Endurance Championship wasn’t necessarily a priority for the younger generation of drivers.

Of course, Formula 1 was understandably the main goal for the up and coming stars of the future - given its heritage as the pinnacle of motorsport.

But those days are gone, and the WEC is slowly but surely becoming a category that turns the heads of more and more youngsters.

It’s fair to understand why - just look at the top category of endurance racing’s highest championship.

In 2021, just three teams took part in the championship - fast forward to this year and that number is 12.

The WEC is growing, all due to the new hypercar regulations brought in from 2021.

And according to Toyota’s Sebastien Buemi, that is crucial if the championship is to open its doors to younger drivers.

“I think if you look at the grid, there are many seats available now, you know, with all those manufacturers,” he said. 

“So, of course, as a young driver, if you see that Formula One is not really a possibility, then you want to become a professional driver, and there are a lot of opportunities here.

Buemi himself was an F1 driver over a decade ago, when he raced for Toro Rosso from 2009 to 2011.

But his time in the highest form of motorsport didn’t work out, however he’s since found his calling elsewhere with a Formula E title to his name along with four WEC titles.

When you look at drivers like 24-year-old Robert Shwartzman, who spent six years within the Ferrari Driver Academy but couldn’t quite make it to F1 but is now part of the hypercar grid with AF Corse, it’s clear to see Buemi’s comments aren’t false.

However with the competition getting tougher and tougher as more teams look to the hypercar class to contest, Buemi said it won’t be easy for younger drivers to cement themselves as a top driver.

“The level is extremely high now, you have young guys participating, and it's not easy,” he explained.

“But yeah it's not that easy to obviously be competitive here. 

“But again, the fact that you have three drivers per car, [and] so many manufacturers involved gives a lot of chances and opportunities to a lot of young drivers.”

By Adam Proud profile image Adam Proud
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