F1 drivers discuss about the FIA WEC Le Mans 24 Hours and if they would like to be part of it, as Max Verstappen goes in-depth about it.

It is no surprise for the current F1 lot wishing to do FIA WEC Le Mans 24 Hours one day. Even if they do not wish to compete full-time in the endurance championship, there are many who will give the famed event a go considering the history behind it.

The current grid already has two winners in the form of Nico Hulkenberg and Fernando Alonso, with many who can certainly win the event. There are drivers following the championship as well whether it is due to their teams racing in it or otherwise.

The likes of Esteban Ocon and Charles Leclerc have a reason for it, but Max Verstappen, George Russell and Alexander Albon are among others who follow it well. The Dutchman, in fact, knows of the hotly-debated Balance of Performance situation in the series too.

Here’s how the conversation about Le Mans 24 Hours went –

Esteban Ocon: “Yeah, I’ve been following very much, also Alpine races in Hypercar at the moment and I will be in Le Mans as well for the 24 hours. It’s great to see so many different manufacturers racing on the top class. And seeing so many cool fights as well. As I’ve always said, you know, Formula 1 is my target. It’s what I want to be racing for a long time at the moment. But never say never. And for sure, at some stage, this is something I will be eyeing to. I think it’s not the right moment now, no. Clearly not. But one day, for sure, if there’s the opportunity, you know, to race in Le Mans, yeah, that’s something I would love to do, you know, but not in the same time as Formula 1. When the good times arrive.”

Yuki Tsunoda: “Yes. One day, yes. I think.”

Max Verstappen: “Yuki, I need you as my teammate there. You’re so light, you’ll be flying. You can compensate for my weight! For sure. I mean, I remember when I was like 11, 12 years old, my dad was racing at Le Mans in LMP2 and then LMP1 the year after. It is something pretty incredible. I mean, even at the time, you know, you’re a young kid, but just the whole atmosphere is fantastic. And the team element of it, because it’s not only you, right? You have to work together with your team-mates to try and find the right compromise with the set-up. So, yeah, I’ve been following it a lot here and there you have a few chats as well. But at the moment, I think it’s too early for me to enter because the new regulations as well, I think they need to sort out the BOP a little bit better between the cars.

“Like, it’s a bit hit and miss here and there, I find. Plus, for me, also the driver weight. I feel like there needs to be a limit on that, because I might rock up, 80 kilos with kit, but there is also a driver that can be 55 or 60. No offence, Yuki! And I find like, when you go to Le Mans, you have no chance. You know, that already is a couple of tenths a lap. It’s pretty incredible, the difference. So they need to sort that out. There needs to be an average or minimum, you know, weight that you need to comply to. But for sure in the future, I would like to race. Yeah, it’s an incredible event.”

George Russell: “Yeah, I think definitely after my Formula 1 career, I would love to race in Le Mans and maybe even do it with some guys who are in F1 at the moment, I think it would be quite cool. Alex and I spoke like a couple of years ago about doing like a GT race or something together, but I don’t know who you’d want. But like Max said, I think, how things are in Le Mans at the moment, such a great championship, but it is quite unfair to the guys of our weight. We’re all sort of 80 kilos with our kit and our helmets. And you know, Yuki would have six tenths on us before we even start. So, but as I said, I think it’s a very special race. I think we’re all racers.”

Ocon: “Six tenths a lap!?”

Russell: “Well, 20 kilos, 20 kilos. I think 20 kilos, six tenths a lap?”

Tsunoda: “I think I’ve found my dream job!”

Russell: “Yeah, exactly. So, yeah, I think, as I said, we’re all racers and, you know, we love racing in Formula 1 and that takes all of our effort. But in the future, for sure, we want to explore some of these awesome races.”

Alexander Albon: “Yeah, I’m the same. I think it’s definitely something that every driver most probably has on their bucket list, their to-do list. I would love to do a race with some of these guys, maybe my family as well. I don’t know how I would do it, but definitely it’s up there. And I don’t know, just imagine like we’re all sharing a motorhome or an RV together and just… It would be good. I can see it now. But yes, I think weight, as everyone said, I think especially the taller guys would most probably need to chop off an arm to be competitive. But otherwise, yeah, it’s going to happen at some point, I think.”

Charles Leclerc: “Yeah, I couldn’t agree more on the weight limit that we have all mentioned. I follow it obviously more since two years, since Ferrari joined in the Hypercar category, and even more so this year as I’ve got my younger brother that started his endurance career in GT. So yeah, now I’m a bit more involved and following closer the whole category. For sure. I mean, I would love to do Le Mans one day. I think we all have the same problem. The programme in Formula 1 now is crazy.

“It’s crazy. And we’ve got very little time spare to prepare properly a race like Le Mans, because if I do Le Mans, I want to arrive there ready and there to go and win. So we’ve got to do the things seriously. And at the moment with the calendar of Formula 1, it’s quite difficult. But I would love to partner with my younger brother to do Le Mans one day together.”

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