Monday, July 22, 2024

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Gasly outlines Le Mans winning ambitions after visiting Alpine in 2024

Formula 1 driver Pierre Gasly has said he “didn't feel right” attending the 24 Hours of Le Mans in casual clothes, revealing he has ambitions to participate within the epic sports automotive race.

Gasly and his Alpine F1 teammate Esteban Ocon were present last week on the 92nd edition of the French endurance classic, which saw the Renault-owned team return to Hypercar with the brand new A424 LMDh prototype.

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Frenchman Gasly spent much of his teenage years living in Le Mans, being a part of the French federation's young driver program, and even finished school in the identical city.

Returning to La Sarthe, where the fourth round of the 2024 World Endurance Championships took place on June 15-16, the 28-year-old said there was something unsuitable with watching the race from the sidelines.

Speaking to Eurosport on the grid, the one-time Grand Prix winner expressed his desire to get a competitive automotive and fight for an outright victory at Le Mans in the approaching years.

“I think it's every kid's dream,” he said. “I've been watching this race since I used to be this tall [pointing to the ground].

“I actually lived in Le Mans for five years, I studied here and I even have a really close bond with this city and this track.

35 alpine endurance team alpin

Photo: Alpine

“It will certainly be a dream to win Le Mans at some point. We'll see. For now, I’m fully focused on Formula 1 and that will not be within the plans.

“But definitely hanging out with these guys today but wearing regular sneakers and jeans just doesn't feel right, so hopefully one day I can get in a good car and do Le Mans.”

Gasly is the newest F1 driver to talk publicly about his dream of racing within the WEC's blue ribbon round.

World champion Max Verstappen recently revealed that plenty of teams had contacted him about running at Le Mans, while Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc was also excited by participating within the Italian marque's 499P LMH after watching the Prancing Horse win. during last 12 months's centenary ceremony.

However, any near-future appearance by an F1 driver at Le Mans has been ruled out because of calendar clashes, with next 12 months's 93rd edition falling on the identical weekend because the Canadian Grand Prix.

Gasly said he has “a lot of respect” for the drivers competing at Le Mans, with the grueling schedule and changeable weather making it one in all the hardest races on the motorsport calendar.

“I find it fascinating,” he said. “I talked about it. I even have a whole lot of friends who race here, which makes it much more fun because I get to be on the grid and see a whole lot of the blokes I raced against.

“I said, '4 a.m. and one hour of sleep, that is going to be so annoying and really extreme.'

“I believe we’ve got to understand that [them]. As a racing driver, I actually appreciate how hard it’s, and I hope people on TV can understand it too, since it's hard.

“Concentrating for an hour and a half is a challenge, but concentrating for a full 24 hours and sharing a automotive…..

“These guys will explain it best, but [I have] Great respect for these guys.”

Alpine showed promising early pace within the 2024 WEC season with two A424s run by the Signatech factory team, but its Le Mans appearance was cut short after each cars suffered engine failures in the primary six hours.

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