Which Formula 1 drivers would you put in a Le Mans 24 Hours team?

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None of the current F1 drivers are racing in the Le Mans 24 Hours this weekend – although 28 former F1 pilots are.

There isn’t a Grand Prix on this weekend so, if a free car did come up in the race at short notice, and you had to fill it with drivers from the current F1 grid, who would you choose?

In case you haven’t watched Le Mans before, we need three drivers to share a car for a total of 24 hours. Here are my picks??

Sebastien Bourdais

Bourdais is one of few drivers on the grid who’ve contested France’s great sports car race before. In fact he’s done it six times including an appearance for Peugeot last year when his three-man team started on pole position and finished second. Peugeot’s diesel challenger which is tipped for victory this time around, but Bourdais’ F1 commitments means he can’t race for them.

I’d pick him over the other F1 drivers who’ve got Le Mans starts under their belts. It might be a struggle to persuade Mark Webber to return after the two huge somersaults he suffered there while driving for Mercedes (video here). And David Coulthard said he didn’t much enjoy the experience when he drove for Jaguar at the La Sarthe circuit.

Robert Kubica

A bit of a flavour of the month pick, perhaps, but you can’t argue that Kubica isn’t quick.

He’s also got the hunger for competition, which I like in a driver. He knows the world of motor sport doesn’t begin and end with Formula 1, and has said before he would like to give rallying a try.

Jenson Button

A 24 hour race is all about endurance and I think Button’s smooth, unruffled style would be a prefect fit.

He’s quick but consistent, and he’d bring the car back in one piece. Looking at some of the incidents from Melbourne, Bahrain, Monte-Carlo and Montreal this year I’m not sure I’d trust Kimi Raikkonen or Lewis Hamilton to do the same.

Button is often excellent in changing weather conditions as well, as he showed in his maiden win two years ago, which is essential in a race which lasts for a day.

So that’s my Franco-Anglo-Polish squad. Who would you pick from the 2008 F1 grid for a Le Mans 24 Hour team?

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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27 comments on “Which Formula 1 drivers would you put in a Le Mans 24 Hours team?”

  1. I would put in:

    Kimi: The guy would just put lap after lap of quick times, very consistently, and I kinda sorta think he could drive the whole 24 hours alone ;)

    Alonso: here’s the guy you put in when you need to struggle for positions. No doubt he’ll make his way with elbows and fists.

    Button: I agree with you there.

    As of Bourdais, well, I don’t think of him as a F1 driver just yet.

  2. The point of Le Mans is to keep constant speed and concentration for hours at a time……

    David Coultard – he may not be quick, but he is fairly unstoppable

    Anthony Davidson – so he gets to drive something fast this year

    Jenson Button – yep, hes just about made for it

    So how come theres no Ferrari, Mercedes or BMW LMP car competing at Le Mans this weekend?

  3. My picks would be Alonso, Button and Bourdais.

  4. A team of killer B’s;

    Bourdais, Button, Barrichello.

  5. My picks

    Bourdais: Without a doubt. A battle tested commodity. Plus the fact that he grew up near Le Mans helps.

    Alonso: He is probably the best driver on the grid that adapts to situations and makes the most out of what he has.

    Montoya: Yes I know, he isn’t in Formula One any more and he was a wild one. Yet here is my case. Because he has now driven NASCAR, he is used to longer four hour races. It something I have seen the last few years in NASCAR is that he has calmed down a little bit and is a bit more patience in his racing. Plus, when do you get a chance to nail down the triple crown of motorsports?

  6. TommyBellingham
    11th June 2008, 18:38

    Also Dan if Montoya won wouldn’t that make him the 2nd person to hold the triple crown?

  7. Heidfield, Button, Montoya

    Heidfield and Button due to there smooth driving style, hence not chewing up machinery

    and Montoya’s insane ability to make a fuel loaded car go faster than its supposed to.

  8. current F1 grid though in favour of Montoya (sorry re read your article Keith)

    Sutil, another smooth driver yet awesome at overtaking, he’s especially good at overtaking those pesky yellows. although knowing his luck the car would bust into flames.

    also Heidfield because its almost impossible to overtake him.

  9. Montoya has won 24 Hours of Daytona with Ganassi before.

  10. You guys hit it right on the head with Montoya and his triple crown bid. Indeed, he’d be only the second winner of all 3 races in history. Of current drivers, I’d go with Button and Heidfeld as well- years of experience for those two is another plus.

  11. Tommy, that is right. Currently, Graham Hill is the ever driver in history to win the triple crown (24 hours at Le Mans, Indy 500, Monaco Grand Prix.)

    Montoya is the sixth driver to win two out of the three. The others; Tazio Nuvolari, Maurice Trintignant, A. J. Foyt, Bruce McLaren, and Jochen Rindt. Not bad company.

  12. does anyone remember mark webber flipping twice in 99?

    once in the warmup and once in qualifying?

  13. My team wont be without Heidfeld, race after race he shows how good a driver he is and how difficult he is to pass.
    Two would be Vettel, someone with aggression and great driving skills, eventhough he is yet to prove to be a great driver.
    Three would be Alonso, one of the greatest racers in current F1 team, he’s got it all..

  14. Mistake :
    Three would be Alonso, one of the greatest racers in current F1 (team*)pack

  15. I’d go Alonso, as the best all rounder out there. Kubica as the fast guy who doesn’t get rattled, and Montoya (seems as though we are allowed to include him despite not being a current f1 driver) for the fireworks.

  16. Montoya won the daytona 24hours twice to be exact ;)

  17. michael counsell
    12th June 2008, 1:21

    Make that 31 ex F1 drivers as the first reserve car has been allowed to race featuring 3 ex F1 drivers (Shinji Nakano, Jean Marc Gounon and Stefan Johnansson).

  18. Please replace button with Anthony Davidson. He’d become a much better driver for the experience, and he’d probably run a better race.

  19. Hamilton would definitely stay the distance and deliver the speed required to win le mans hands down. All of the fairly recent Grand Prix legends such as Senna Prost Schumi were slightly flawed racing genius’s. I’ve followed F1 and le mans since 1984 and my dream team of current GP pilots would be Hamilton Button and Davidson driving aston martin machinery.How about an article on GP legends stupid mistakes down the years eg Alain Prost on the formation lap at Donnington or Senna running out of fuel at Imola etc?

  20. Alonso, Truilli, Raikkonen.

    Put Jarno in the car first, tell him that he is not actually in a race but in a qualifying session. Watch him go afterthat.
    Put Fernando in next, see how the car can be improved, set up, iron out any failings. Also, Nando can pick up any places Jarno lost.
    Last, Raikkonen. By now, the car will be glued to the road, responsive 100%. Right up the Kimster’s street.
    Then, ofcourse, he can celebrate with the odd drink or two afterwards, or a swig of champagne.

  21. Alonso, Button and Coulthard. Button and Coulthard for their consistency, and Alonso for his balls-out driving even if he’s in last place. And trust coulthard to mess up a few people’s races when being overtaken. A sure winning team!

  22. I would choose Rubens Barichello , Jenson Button and Nick Heidfeld , because Le Mans requires stamina , careful masterful driving , tyre and brake conservation , adaptation to changing conditions while still putting in laps which are on the average pace at all times. Or in fewer words an abundance of experience. The three mentioned do not have the “qualifying pace” of say Lewis , Kimi ,Felipe’ or Robert , but everything else is there and more.

  23. Michael Counsel – Indeed they have, I added a few lines on those drivers in the comments in the Maximum Motorsport article.

  24. For the triple crown does it have to be the Monaco Grand Prix or could it be the F1 Championship instead?

    If it’s the latter then another potential winner could be Jacques Villenueve.

    Taking another spin which three drivers would you NOT take to LMES?

    Mine would be Sato (dangerous), Kovaleinen (bad luck) and Piquet Jr (just plain bad).

  25. Rabi – No, the ‘triple crown’ has always been considered Le Mans, Indy and Monaco as Dan described. Three prestigious but very different races. I wish they’d make room in the F1 calendar for them and let current drivers compete in them (although Indy’s over-long schedule would soak up most of May).

  26. Yes, considering which Manufacturers have a foot in all three camps, surely its time for a bit of cross-play with the drivers and teams? I’d love to see McLaren at Le Mans and Indy again.

  27. Button for consistancy.
    Hamilton (he has only had a bad car this year).
    Vettel (has had some unluck times this year)

    Just my opinion!!!

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