Pierre Gasly interested in competing in 24 Hours of Le Mans

Jaden Diaz
27 Jul, 2023

With Ferrari taking victory in the 24 Hours of Le Mans this year, there has been plenty of discussion about why active F1 drivers have abstained from competing in the iconic event for so long.

Fernando Alonso and Nico Hulkenberg are the only drivers on the grid to have competed in Le Mans, with both taking victory on their first attempts at the event.

Hulkenberg competed in the 24-hour race during the F1 2015 season whilst racing for Force India.

The Spaniard was also competing in Formula 1, at the time with McLaren, when claiming his second part of the Triple Crown.

Le Mans is experiencing a resurgence of interest from manufacturers, with Alpine, BMW and Lamborghini set to join the top category of the World Endurance Championship in 2024.

As a result, returning to the opening statement of this article, the scarcity of Formula 1 drivers competing in other racing series became a topic of discussion after Ferrari’s victory in June.

Several drivers expressed an interest when questioned on the topic, though most did little more than praise the event’s historic nature.

Alpine

Pierre Gasly (FRA) Alpine F1 Team A523 and Esteban Ocon (FRA) Alpine F1 Team A523.
07.07.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 11, British Grand Prix, Silverstone, England, Practice Day.
– www.xpbimages.com, EMail: requests@xpbimages.com © Copyright: Batchelor / XPB Images

Speaking with TopGear.com, Alpine’s Pierre Gasly explained the conditions that could facilitate his participation in Le Mans:

“I’m definitely going to look at doing Le Mans in the future.

“For now, 100 per cent of my focus is on Formula One, and that’s really where I see myself for the next ten years.

“It’s where I want to excel and really push myself beyond any limits, but at the same time, I do see Le Mans as such an iconic race which could be a one-off competition for me during a season.

“The only condition I would have is that I want to do it to win it.

“I want to be sure that if I do this one-off competition right in the middle of my F1 season, it will be to really fight for the win.”

Alpine’s entry into the World Endurance Championship gives the 27-year-old a relatively simple entry into the 24 Hours, but there is no guarantee the French outfit will be competitive from day one.

After all, whilst taking victory in Le Mans is an incredible achievement, there is always an element of pride that could dissuade F1 drivers from racing if they could not fight at the front.

In any case, the next twelve months will provide insight into how enthusiastic drivers are about competing in other categories.

Author: Jaden Diaz-Ndisang

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