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Former F1 drivers tackle Le Mans - who to watch out for

Former F1 drivers tackle Le Mans - who to watch out for



Former F1 drivers tackle Le Mans - who to watch out for

Former F1 drivers tackle Le Mans - who to watch out for

The 24 Hours of Le Mans brings together a grid of drivers from across the motorsport spectrum, and although the current Formula 1 grid goes unrepresented, 14 former F1 stars will line up to compete for glory.

Formula E, DTM, Super Formula, W Series and F3 are among just a few of the championships represented by the 2020 roster of drivers waiting to tackle the Circuit de la Sarthe.

In total, 14 former Formula 1 drivers with a combined 751 grands prix starts will compete across the four categories although none feature in the GTE Pro class.

LMP1 - Toyota goes F1 heavy

Toyota famously competed with Fernando Alonso in the driving seat in the World Endurance Championship 'Super-Season' and on both occasions, the team took victory.

For 2020, Alonso has been replaced by '2017 winner for Porsche Brendon Hately. The former Toro Rosso driver will slot in alongside Sebastian Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima - both of whom are also faces of F1 seasons of old.

In the sister number eight Toyota that starts from pole, one time F1 podium winner Kamui Kobayashi adds to the impressive roster of F1 talent at the Japanese factory team.

The LMP1 category is even lower on numbers than in recent years with only five cars contesting the category.

As a result, only Bruno Senna adds to number of former F1 stars in the category, racing for Rebellion Racing and starting second after team-mate Gustavo Menezes put in a stunning effort to split the Toyotas.

LMP2 - Seven F1 stars vie for a surprise overall podium

With the low number of LMP1 cars entered and the usual high rates of attrition expected, it is not beyond the realm of possibility that an LMP2 car could make it onto the overall podium.

By far, the LMP2 category has the most entrants with 24 cars and 3 drivers sharing driving duties in each of the largely identical vehicles.

Former Super Aguri driver Anthony Davidson may not have enjoyed the on track success he had sought in F1, but the Briton has since forged a successful career in sports cars, winning the World Endurance Championship title in 2014 and registering a best Le Mans finish of second in 2013.

Among the seven drivers to contest LMP2, Juan Pablo Montoya, Paul di Resta, and Jean Eric Vergne are names that remain familiar to F1 fans.

Former Caterham driver Guido van der Garde, now known more for his social media postings than his driving, also features as do Roberto Mehri and Will Stevens.

Di Resta launched his United Autosport set the fastest LMP2 time in Hyperpole so will start sixth overall.

GTE Am - The gentlemen in the pack

Endurance racing appears to be a welcome home for the long list of former Red Bull young drivers. Racing in the 'Am' category, meaning one of the three drivers in the line-up must not be a professional driver, Sebastian Bourdais adds to this number.

The Frenchman has competed in Formula E and IndyCar since his two year stint in Formula 1 that is now more than a decade in the past.

Also in the category is by far the most experienced F1 driver in the roster this year, Giancarlo Fisichella.

The Italian has 229 F1 race starts to his name and three wins - a total that also makes him the second most successful F1 driver competing this time around, trumped only by Montoya's seven.


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