19 June 2015
F1 Austrian Grand Prix: Alonso open to Le Mans bid, but Hamilton says no
Fernando Alonso says he remains keen to tackle Le Mans in the near future... whereas Lewis Hamilton hasn't watched a race there before.
Fernando Alonso says he is interested in making a bid for the Le Mans 24 Hours in the near future after his deal with Porsche for this year's race fell through.
The Spaniard was close to sealing a deal to race with the German marque in the round-the-clock race prior to the decision to sign with McLaren-Honda in F1, a move that would ultimately scupper any potential Le Mans bid.
With Nico Hulkenberg subsequently being approached and signed, his win at the 2015 event alongside Nick Tandy and Earl Bamber on their LMP1 Le Mans debut, has sparked renewed interest in Alonso.
“I considered to race in Le Mans. In the future – and when in the future I don't know – I just said it was vert close this year, so maybe next year.”
Alonso's views were echoed around the paddock, with many drivers admitting they would like to add the iconic endurance race to their CV's, even if most would only consider it at the end of their F1 careers.
“I watched quite a lot of it actually, about 18 hours,” said Daniel Ricciardo. “I'm a fan! Yeah, it was cool. Racing is what we do, it's fun, it's nice to have a weekend off but when I was watching it I was obviously thinking it would be nice to be racing as well.”
“A 24 Hour race, people tend to take it easy because the race is so long and so many things can happen, but it was great to see the guys were actually flat out from the first lap,” added Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel. “For all of the race, basically. So, I think as racing drivers that's what we're after, to push every single lap and for a long time, obviously that means more fun. So, might be something in the future to think about. Obviously massive respect for what Nico did.”
Defending champion Lewis Hamilton, on the other hand, says he not only has little interest in racing at Le Mans, but he has never even watched a race.
“I didn't watch it. I honestly don't think I've ever seen Le Mans. It's not something I've ever been particularly interested in. Naturally I love cars but it's not been something I've ever wanted to do so I don't plan to…”
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