Toyota Gazoo Racing Confirm Continuation for 2023
If it ain’t broke don’t fix it as Toyota continue with winning driver line-up
After a victorious 2022 season, Toyota Gazoo Racing have announced that they will continue with an unchanged driver line-up for next year.
Here’s what the drivers, including Team Principal Kamui Kobayashi, had to say.
Kamui Kobayashi (Team Principal and driver, car #7):
We achieved all out targets this year, winning Le Mans, Fuji and the World Championships, thanks to the big support from Toyota and our partners. But we start again in 2023 with even stronger competition, so we need to improve ourselves, making our team and car even stronger. The drivers are an important part of our team and I am happy to drive alongside Mike, José, Séb, Brendon and Ryo again in 2023.
We have a strong team spirit throughout the whole team, particularly among the drivers, and we race together as one family. This is a big strength for our team and we need to trust and support each other next season, to be as strong as possible against the big competition in Hypercar. We are all looking forward to racing against so many manufacturers who have won Le Mans in the past. Winning Le Mans in its centenary year is a big target for everyone, so of course it will be difficult and our competition will be pushing extremely hard. This big fight is what we all want in motorsport and I think it will be really exciting for the fans.
Mike Conway (Driver, car #7):
It’s going to be an exciting challenge in WEC next season and I am really pleased to be part of TOYOTA GAZOO Racing for the start of this new era in endurance racing. It won’t be easy, that’s for sure, with so many manufacturers joining, but to have the chance to win Le Mans in its centenary year is a massive motivation. To see such a big grid of Hypercars fighting for the victory will be something special and I’m looking forward to being part of that.
José María López (Driver, car #7):
I am very happy to continue in the team for another year, especially alongside Mike and Kamui. We have a really close relationship and have become like brothers over the past seasons. There is a great spirit through the whole team and we will need that to face the battle next year, when the Hypercar class will be incredibly competitive. It’s exciting for everyone, the team, the drivers and the fans. I know the team is already working flat-out to be ready and I can’t wait.
Sébastien Buemi (Driver, car #8):
I’m grateful to the team, and Toyota, for the opportunity to participate in such an incredible season for WEC and Le Mans. It’s hard to believe that this will be my 11th season with the team in WEC; we have experienced so much together and it has become like a family. We need to use all that experience, and everything we have learned over the years, to be ready for the fight next season. Clearly our target will be to retain our world titles and win Le Mans again, which would be even more special in the centenary year.
Brendon Hartley (Driver, car #8):
The 2023 season looks like being an incredible one for endurance racing and our job certainly doesn’t get any easier. The fight between the manufacturers will be intense, and we need to be well prepared, with a fast and reliable car; there will be no room for error. It’s a real privilege to be part of such a landmark season. Thanks to Toyota and everyone in the team, not only for a fantastic 2022 season, but for giving us as drivers the chance to be part of the fight next year.
Ryo Hirakawa (Driver, car #8):
I learned a lot during my first season in WEC, so I think I will come back stronger next year, and even more prepared for the big challenge. It still hasn’t sunk in that I will start the season as reigning Le Mans winner and a World Champion, but of course the target is to defend those titles. Thank you to the team, to Toyota and all our partners for giving me this opportunity and supporting us to be part of a special season in 2023. We enjoyed the moment in Bahrain, but already the whole team is focused on preparing and improving for next season.