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Le Mans Winners: 10 F1 drivers who have won the 24 Hours of Le Mans

The 2018 24h of Le Mans saw Toyota lifting the coveted trophy
The 2018 24h of Le Mans saw Toyota lifting the coveted trophy
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Tanya Kumar

The 2019 Le Mans will commence on the 15th of June, Saturday, with 62 entrants racing against each other to emerge victorious at the Circuit de la Sarthe in France. The day and night race would test the perseverance and endurance of not just the cars, but also the drivers and crew working on those cars.

The previous edition of the endurance race saw a team comprised entirely of once Formula One drivers take victory in France. Fernando Alonso, Sebastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima stood on the top step of the podium after sharing the driving duties for Toyota. It would be interesting to see whether the trio can once again emerge winners or a dark horse would swoop in to snatch victory.

Here is a list of other drivers who have tasted success in both, Formula One racing as well as the 24 Hours of Le Mans:


#10 Brendon Hartley

Brendon Hartly won Le Mans in 2017 with Porsche
Brendon Hartly won Le Mans in 2017 with Porsche

Brendon Hartley has won two World Endurance Championships (WEC), one in 2015 and the other in 2017 with Porsche. It was in 2017 when the former Toro Rosso driver emerged victorious in the 24h of Le Mans too.

Brendon began his career in Formula One in 2017 in the United States Grand Prix despite being a reserve and test driver for Red Bull Racing and Toro Rosso for the first time back in 2009. He raced the entire 2018 season with the latter team, scoring four points in that duration before being replaced by the Thai driver Alexander Albon for the next year.


#9 Martin Brundle

The driver turned commentator scored his first official points in his third year in F1.
The driver turned commentator scored his first official points in his third year in F1.

Martin Brundle started off his Formula One journey with Tyrrell in 1984, finishing in fifth and second place during his debut year. Unfortunately for him, everything quickly went downhill from there.

The Briton suffered a crash during the practice session in Dallas soon after, ruling him out of the rest of his season. His two commendable drives were also disqualified when Tyrrell failed to meet FIA regulations upon inspection.

The driver turned commentator scored his first official points in his third year in the sport after which he moved away from Tyrrell. He accumulated 98 points overall with nine podium places scattered throughout his 12-year stint.

In 1990, during Le Mans, his car suffered electrical problems and he had to switch into Jaguar #3 to take his maiden victory in the prestigious race.

#8 Nico Hülkenberg

Nico Hülkenberg won the 2015 Le Mans with Nick Tandy and Earl Bamber
Nico Hülkenberg won the 2015 Le Mans with Nick Tandy and Earl Bamber

Nico Hülkenberg has been racing in Formula One since 2010 and without the exception of 2011, he secured a seat each year. In the interim, he competed in the Le Mans and won in 2015 with Porsche.

The German may have the unwanted record of most number of starts without a podium to his name, but he has created a name for himself in the sport. Nico’s perseverance has led to multiple points finishes in a car he has often pushed to the limits, leading to a total of 480 points with more yet to come.


#7 Alexander Wurz

Alexander Wurz finished on the podium thrice in his career, each time with a different team
Alexander Wurz finished on the podium thrice in his career, each time with a different team

Alexander Wurz raced in Formula One for Benetton, Williams and McLaren and finished on the podium once with all three teams. He scored a total of 45 championship points during his career.

While he was unable to ever stand on the top step of the podium in F1, Wurz was successful twice in his endeavour to win Le Mans, in 1996 and 2009 with Joest Racing and Team Peugeot Total, respectively.

#6 Jochen Mass

Jochen Mass (left) scored his solo Grand Prix win in Spain with McLaren
Jochen Mass (left) scored his solo Grand Prix win in Spain with McLaren

Jochen Mass scored his only Grand Prix win in Spain during his first full year with McLaren in 1975. The race was marred by tragedy when Rolf Stommelen's car collided into the barriers and it led to the death of four spectators.

In 1989, Jochen drove the Sauber Mercedes in Le Mans with Manuel Reuter and Stanley Dickens to cross the finish line in the first position. The German also finished second in the endurance race in 1982 with Porsche.


#5 Johnny Herbert

Johnny drove the Mazda 787B to victory along with Volker Weidler and Bertrand Gachot.
Johnny drove the Mazda 787B to victory along with Volker Weidler and Bertrand Gachot.

Johnny Herbert drove for seven different teams during the time he raced in Formula One, the most successful of which being Benetton in 1995. He scored two of his three wins that year and finished fourth in the championship standings. The British driver suffered from foot and leg injuries at an F3000 crash which led to a change in his driving style.

Despite the odds, Johnny scored a total of 98 points during the 12 years he was in the sport. The first of those points came when he finished fourth in Brazil, less than a year after the accident when he still had to be helped to get in the car.

In 1991, when Le Mans was a part of the World Sportscar Championship, Johnny drove the Mazda 787B to victory along with Volker Weidler and Bertrand Gachot. From 2002 to 2004, Herbert finished runners-up in the endurance race.

#4 Phil Hill

Phil Hill won Le Mans three times with Ferrari.
Phil Hill won Le Mans three times with Ferrari.

Phil Hill won thrice at Le Mans with Ferrari, all three times sharing driver duties with teammate Olivier Gendebien.

Phil also enjoyed success with the Prancing Horse team in Formula One, winning his first Grand Prix win in 1960 in Monza at the home of the Italian outfit. His maiden championship title came the year after that and he became the only American-born to having won the title.


#3 Fernando Alonso

Fernando Alonso was successful in his first ever attempt at the 24h of Le Mans
Fernando Alonso was successful in his first ever attempt at the 24h of Le Mans

Fernando Alonso tried his hand at Le Mans in 2018 in his quest for the motorsports Triple Crown that has been elusive to every driver except Graham Hill. His first attempt, when the double Formula One world champion paired up with Sebastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima, led Toyota to much-awaited success.

The Spaniard enjoyed a sixteen-year long stint in Formula One which resulted in two drivers’ titles as well as 32 Grand Prix victories. He remains widely known as one of the toughest drivers to race against.

#2 Jacky Ickx

Jacky Ickx opposed a running start to Le Mans by walking to his car in 1969
Jacky Ickx opposed a running start to Le Mans by walking to his car in 1969

Jacques Ickx is one driver who attained tremendous success at the 24h of Le Mans and was not far behind in Formula One either. The former Ferrari driver took his first Grand Prix victory in France and strung together seven more wins before he retired from the sport. He finished runners-up in the world championship with Ferrari on two occasions, in 1969 and 1970.

Jacky was able to conquer Le Mans six times out of which four victories came with Porsche. Back when the race included drivers rushing to their cars at the start, the Belgium driver walked over calmly to his before strapping himself in properly during 1969.

He ended up snatching victory from Porsche by the slightest margin. Ickx was the catalyst to abolish the trend and from 1970, the racers were sat in the cars with their seat belts tightened at the start of Le Mans.


#1 Graham Hill

Graham Hill, the only driver to have ever won the Triple Crown
Graham Hill, the only driver to have ever won the Triple Crown

Graham Hill remains the only driver who has won the coveted Triple Crown of Motorsports, winning the Monaco Grand Prix, the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Indianapolis 500. The British driver won the Formula One world championship twice in 1962 and 1968 too.

Graham competed in Le Mans nine times from 1958 to 66 but success eluded him. It was during his comeback year in 1972 when he finally secured the trophy with Matra. For a while, the Briton held the record for most wins at Monaco before Ayrton Senna surpassed his five victories to hold the record.

Edited by Debjyoti Samanta
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