Gasly lays out Le Mans victory ambitions after 2024 race visit with Alpine

Formula 1 driver Pierre Gasly said it ‘didn’t feel right’ to attend the Le Mans 24 Hours in casual clothing as he revealed his ambition to compete in the sportscar epic.

Gasly and Alpine F1 team-mate Esteban Ocon were in attendance at last week’s 92nd running of the French endurance classic, where the Renault-owned squad made its Hypercar return with the new A424 LMDh prototype.

Frenchman Gasly had spent a large part of his teen years living in Le Mans while he was a part of the French federation’s young driver programme, and even completed his schooling in the same city.

Returning to La Sarthe as it played host to the fourth round of the 2024 World Endurance Championship on June 15-16, the 28-year-old said there was something off about watching the race from the sidelines.

Speaking to Eurosport on the starting grid, the one-time grand prix winner expressed a desire to get hold of a competitive car and fight for outright victory at Le Mans in the coming years.

“I think it’s every kid’s dream,” he said. “I watched this race since I was that tall [pointing to the ground].

“I actually lived five years in Le Mans, I studied here, and I’ve got a very close proximity with this city and this track.

Photo by: Alpine

“For sure, it will be a dream to win Le Mans one day. We will see. For now, I’m fully focused on Formula 1 and it’s not really in the pipeline.

“But definitely seeing these guys out today but just wearing normal sneakers and jeans just doesn’t feel right, so hopefully one day I will be able to be in a good car to participate in Le Mans.”

Gasly is the latest F1 driver to have publicly talked about his dream of racing in the blue riband round of WEC.

World champion Max Verstappen recently revealed that he had been contacted by a number of teams regarding an entry into Le Mans, while Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc was also keen on taking part in the race with the Italian marque’s 499P LMH after watching the Prancing Horse score victory in last year’s centenary event.

Any Le Mans outing for an F1 driver in the near future, however, has been ruled out by a calendar clash, with next year’s 93rd edition falling on the same weekend as the Canadian Grand Prix.

Gasly said he has a “lot of respect” for drivers who compete at Le Mans, with a gruelling schedule and changeable weather combining to make it one of the hardest races on the motorsport calendar.

“I find it fascinating,” he said. “I talked about it. I’ve got many friends racing here actually which makes it even cooler because I’m on the grid and I’m seeing a lot of guys I raced against.

“I was saying like, ‘4am, with one hour of sleep, it’s going to be absolutely pissing down and it’s going to be very extreme’.

“I think we have got to appreciate [them]. As a racing driver, I really appreciate how hard it is and hopefully, people on TV can realise as well because it’s tough.

«To focus for an hour and a half, it’s a big challenge, but to focus for the full 24 hours and sharing the car…..

“These guys are the best to explain it, but [I have] a lot of respect for these guys.”

Alpine had shown promising pace at the start of the 2024 WEC season with its pair of A424s run by the factory Signatech team, but its Le Mans appearance was cut short after both cars suffered engine failures in the first six hours.

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