Four drivers have won both the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Formula 1 world title: Mike Hawthorn, Phil Hill, Jochen Rindt and Graham Hill. Over the course of their prestigious careers, each one has driven a Ferrari at the legendary endurance race or in Formula 1.
Ferrari's track record at Le Mans and in Formula 1 is staggering. Nine wins for its first 16 years participating in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, from 1949 to 1965, as well as 229 victories and 31 world titles (via 15 drivers and 16 constructors) in Formula 1. In addition to the four F1 World Champion winners of the 24 Hours, Fernando Alonso - the most anticipated rookie of the upcoming edition - boasts quite a history with Ferrari in Formula 1.
- All four of the F1 World Champion winners at Le Mans have driven a Ferrari at least once in the 24 Hours. Phil Hill counts eight starts with the Italian marque out of a total of 14, followed by Mike Hawthorn (three out of five), Graham Hill (two out of 10) and Jochen Rindt (two out of four). On the other hand, Rindt and Graham Hill have never driven a Ferrari in Formula 1.
- Winners at Le Mans in 1955 and 1961, then F1 World Champions in 1958 and 1961, respectively, Mike Hawthorn and Phil Hill both claimed the top step on the Formula 1 podium (three each) at the wheel of a Ferrari.
- Expected to represent Ferrari at the 1954 24 Hours, Mike Hawthorn had to return to England following the death of his father, killed in a road accident on June 8th of that year. The #4 Ferrari 375 Plus he was slated to drive was taken over by José Froilán González and Maurice Trintignant and ended up winning the race. The Argentinian and Frenchman triumphed after a relentless battle with Jaguar...the manufacturer with which Hawthorn won the 24 Hours of Le Mans the following year.
- In 1965, Jochen Rindt won at the wheel of a Ferrari fielded by the NART team. His boss, Luigi Chinetti, won (as a driver) the Italian marque's first-ever victory at Le Mans. In a twist of fate, in 1965 his outfit won the ninth - and last to date - Ferrari overall win at the 24 Hours.
- In 1964, Graham Hill claimed his first Le Mans podium at the wheel of a Ferrari, a second place finish at the wheel of a 330P shared with Swedish driver Jo Bonnier. The car was fielded by Maranello Concessionaires, a team owned by Ronnie Hoare. A former World War II intelligence officer, he helped develop the import of Ferraris in the U.K. Ronnie Hoare's cars were easily recognizable by their red livery and sky blue racing stripe. In 1961, Graham Hill also drove a Ferrari 250 GT, along with Stirling Moss (retirement).
- The first active driver to give the start at the 24 Hours of Le Mans (in 2014), Fernando Alonso took the opportunity to take the wheel of a 1970 Ferrari 512 S. Fielded in 1970 by the Swiss team Scuderia Filipinetti, it was driven by Michael Parkes and Herbert Müller (retirement). So far, Fernando Alonso is credited with 32 wins in Formula 1 (the last 11 with Ferrari) and two world champion titles in the discipline.
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PHOTO: In 2014, Fernando Alonso (at left) participated in his fifth and final Formula 1 season as a Ferrari driver. For his double program this year, he will take the wheel of a Toyota at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and in the World Endurance Championship (FIA WEC), and a McLaren in Formula 1. The Spaniard is pictured here with Jean Todt, President of the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile.