More F1 drivers keen for Le Mans tilt

© XPB 

A number of F1 drivers say they would like to race at Le Mans following Nico Hulkenberg's success at the 24 Hours.

Driving Porsche's third LMP1 entry, Hulkenberg took victory alongside Nick Tandy and Earl Bamber to become the first active F1 driver to win Le Mans in 24 years. Fernando Alonso was close to securing a seat in the same car for this year's race and when asked if he still hopes to compete in the future, he hinted it could be possible for him to race in 2016.

"Yes, I considered to race in Le Mans," Alonso said. "In the future – and when in the future I don’t know – I just said it was very close this year, so maybe next year. I don’t know."

With a number of drivers asked on Thursday in Austria, Daniel Ricciardo was one who hopes Hulkeberg's performance makes it easier for other drivers to compete in future alongside their F1 duties.

"Yeah, it would be fun," Ricciardo said. "I watched quite a lot of it actually, about 18 hours. 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, on this weekend off.

"So, if we could manage to do more, like they did in the old days as well, there was drivers jumping from categories. Fortunately Nico’s made us all look good and I think he’s made it all seem possible for us now. So, maybe we’ll get the praise from our teams to venture into these things for the future."

Sebastian Vettel agreed with Ricciardo, while also saying he is interested by the opportunity to push a car to its limit for such a long time.

"A little bit along the lines of Daniel," Vettel said. "I think it’s great to watch, especially as everyone has the impression that, 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. 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."

When it was put to Carlos Sainz an appearance at Le Mans could be a long way off for him, he replied: "Or not, who knows!

"If an offer comes, why not take it. For sure, its professionally one of the most prestigious races in the world and, to participate in that, after participating in F1, it would be something mega. Of course, I’m more than open. Anything that has four wheels and a steering wheel and an engine I would like to drive – so whatever."

However, Nico Rosberg says racing at Le Mans is not something he has considered yet, while team-mate Lewis Hamilton appeared to rule it out completely.

"I didn’t watch it," Hamilton said. "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."

Click here for F1i's exclusive interview with Daniel Ricciardo

Click here for the F1 drivers' girlfriends gallery

Keep up to date with all the F1 news via Facebook and Twitter