A race full of twists and turns for Sébastien at Monza
TOYOTA GAZOO Racing’s fourth win of the season is the perfect response to a frustrating Le Mans 24 Hours and extends the team’s World Championship lead to 26 points. Victory brings the #7 crew back into the drivers’ title race and they now lie second, 23 points behind their #8 colleagues.
On another warm summer day, the action on track was equally hot from the opening lap when Sébastien, starting third, made contact with the #51 Ferrari and dropped to eighth.
A determined comeback drive from Sébastien Buemi, Brendon Hartley and Ryo Hirakawa in the #8 GR010 HYBRID saw the World Champions recover from the back of the field. They crossed the line fourth but were handed a post-race penalty and dropped to sixth.
After 15 minutes, an incident between the #8 and a GT car brought out the safety car again. The #8 was not damaged but its chances were hit when stewards imposed a 10secs penalty for the first incident and a further 60secs for the second.
Smart strategy and a string of quick laps from Ryo helped the #8 return to the lead lap by the time Brendon took over to push for a top-six finish.
The #8 crew’s never-give-up approach paid dividends as Brendon battled into fourth place in a frantic final 15 minutes by overtaking their World Championship rivals in the #51 Ferrari, and the #5 Porsche. Post-race, the #8 was handed a 50secs penalty for briefly and unintentionally exceeding a powertrain power limit on one lap.
The chequered flag brought the European leg of the 2023 season to a close.
Hypercar competition will return on 10 September for TOYOTA GAZOO Racing’s home race, the 6 Hours of Fuji, the penultimate race of a season which concludes in Bahrain in November.