Le Mans 2022: Which ex-F1 drivers are tackling the iconic endurance race?

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Former Formula 1 driver Marcus Ericsson had the opportunity to kiss the bricks and drink a well-deserved bottle of milk during the traditional post-race celebrations after winning the Indy 500, and the Le Mans plateau Also packed full of former F1 talent to watch out for this weekend.

A total of ten drivers have already raced in Formula 1, Planet Sport details them:

(* denotes current F1 reserve driver)

Hypercars:

Kamui Kobayashi (Toyota No. 7)

Ah, Kamui. He was definitely a fan favorite in his time in the sport, especially during the Sauber days, with the sheer joy of his lone podium finish in his home race at Suzuka in 2012 bringing many glass eyes to tears. .

He won the World Endurance Championship title in 2019/20 and, after three P2 finishes at Le Mans, finally clinched the big title alongside Mike Conway and Jose Maria Lopez last year.

Kobayashi also took charge of Toyota’s WEC team at the end of 2021, so he will defend his crown alongside his teammates, who are now also his employees.

Sebastien Buemi (Toyota No. 8)

Buemi will partner Hartley at Toyota this year along with Japan’s Ryo Hirakawa, and the Swiss driver‘s three seasons in Formula 1 brought only modest success in a Toro Rosso bottom midfield from 2009 to 2011.

Like Hartley, his exploits elsewhere have shown his quality, however. Buemi has since become a three-time Le Mans winner, two-time world endurance champion (with 20 race wins) and Formula E title winner. Not too bad.

Brendon Hartley (Toyota #8)

Former Toro Rosso man Brendon Hartley will face Kobayashi in sister Toyota. He took three points in the 2018 F1 season, having participated in the last four races of the previous year.

It would prove to be his only time in Formula 1, but his success in endurance racing is clear – two WEC titles and being twice a Le Mans winner and twice runner-up are proof of that.

LMP2:

Felipe Nasr (#5 Team Penske)

Two seasons with Sauber in 2015 and 2016 were Nasr’s time in Formula 1, and made an excellent debut finishing in the top five on his first Grand Prix start.

Unfortunately for him that would be the highest he would place in an F1 race, but he has since enjoyed success elsewhere – with two IMSA SportsCar Championship titles now on his CV, including last year’s championship, and has its third tilt at Le Mans this weekend.

Robert Kubica* (#9 PREMA)

One of two Formula 1 race winners in the field this weekend. Kubica is still Alfa Romeo’s reserve driver, but is stepping away from his reserve duties in Azerbaijan to be involved in LMP2 this weekend.

He competed in two Grands Prix last season as he replaced Kimi Raikkonen at Alfa, but was heartbroken last year at Le Mans after his car ran out of fuel on the final lap of the one-track race. day when he was leading in LMP2. He will certainly want to make amends this year.

Sebastien Bourdais (#10 Vector Sport)

Bourdais has had success across the motorsport spectrum, but he’s another driver who hasn’t translated that to Formula 1.

His season and a half at Toro Rosso did not see him live up to expectations, but his history on the Circuit de la Sarthe is a long one.

Bourdais’ first Le Mans was in 1999, unfortunately recording a DNF that year, but he has since won the race in the LMGTE Pro class, in 2016.

Esteban Gutierrez (#34 Inter Europol)

The former Sauber and Haas Gutiérrez driver makes his Le Mans debut this weekend, having not done a huge amount of racing in recent years while performing reserve/test duties for Mercedes in Formula 1 and Formula E, before starting his WEC career earlier. This year.

The Mexican drove for three seasons in Formula 1 in the mid-2010s, but recorded only one final point in that time – taking 7th place in Japan in 2013.

Will Stevens (#38 Jota)

Stevens never really got the chance to show his true skills in Formula 1, competing in 2014 and 2015 in a Manor car that rarely troubled Q2, let alone points.

This weekend will see Stevens contest his seventh 24 Hours of Le Mans. After being part of the winning team in the GTE Am category in 2017, he arrives this year after finishing third in LMP2 in 2021.

Pietro Fittipaldi* (#43 Inter Europol)

Okay, it’s unfair to call Fittipaldi a ‘former’ F1 driver (hence the asterisk), as he still serves as a reserve driver at Haas and has two race starts to his name – replacing Romain Grosjean after his horror accident in Bahrain towards the end of 2020.

He has competed in two European Le Mans Series races so far this season, but this is his first appearance at the 24 Hours. Good luck to him.

Jack Aitken* (#47 Algarve Pro Racing)

Like Fittipaldi, Aitken was also drafted for a Formula 1 race towards the end of 2020. Reserve Williams came on for George Russell at the Sakhir Grand Prix, when the now Mercedes driver took Lewis Hamilton’s seat after being tested positive for covid -19.

That race was Aitken’s only Formula 1 start to date, and he managed to secure less than a tenth of Nicholas Latifi’s qualifying time on Saturday – but limped home P16 after a one-on-one. tail in the last corner during the race.

Aitken is also taking part in the 24 Hours of Le Mans for the first time.

LM GTE Pro:

Gianmaria Bruni (Porsche #91)

Bruni competed in the 2004 season for Minardi in Formula 1, in what was unfortunately the car behind the field by quite a considerable distance at the time.

His success came later in sportscars, winning two world endurance titles in the LMGTE Pro class in 2013 and 2014, as well as three class wins at Le Mans in the past (2008, 2012 and 2014).

At the dawn of his 14th weekend at Le Mans, he is one of the most experienced chefs on the set.

LMGTE Am:

Giancarlo Fisichella (#80 Iron Lynx)

Our other Formula 1 race winner on this list and the person to complete it is Fisi, who is also comfortably the most experienced F1 driver on this list.

Three race wins and 19 podiums have come in 229 race starts, and the 49-year-old Italian is taking part in his 13th weekend at Le Mans, taking two class wins during that time.

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