For drivers, 24 Hours of Le Mans race week is the most intense and physically exhausting time of the season. What are the days following the race like? Sébastien Buemi (TOYOTA GAZOO Racng), Nicolas Lapierre (Signatech Alpine Matmut) and Julien Andlauer (Dempsey-Proton Racing) - all winners in 2018 - answer the question.
24 Hours of Le Mans drivers are elite athletes in peak mental and physical condition, but a 24-hour race never fails to take its toll on their minds and bodies. "Physically, we're completely spent the two days following the race," confirms Graff-So24 driver Jonathan Hirschi, second in the LMP2 class at the 2018 24 Hours of Le Mans. With a certain amount of experience, some drivers know what to expect, but for rookies like Dempsey-Proton Racing's Julien Andlauer, LMGTE Am winner, the learning curve continues after the race. "I was really worn out and decided not to celebrate our class win right away. I went to bed at 23:00 Sunday night not expecting that level of exhaustion. After two good nights of sleep, I felt better. It's important not to forget to work out during the recuperation period," explains Andlauer.
Emotionally, recuperation can take longer, especially if you run out of fuel in the last lap like in 2016.Sébastien Buemi, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing
As the checkered flag is waved, driver energy levels plummet. The adrenaline and pressure fade away, leaving them feeling as if they'd been hit over the head...and that lasts for at least two days, longer if their result was disappointing. How the race unfolded for the drivers directly affects their recuperation. "Some runnings of the 24 Hours of Le Mans are harder to forget than others," admits Signatech Alpine Matmut driver Nicolas Lapierre. "Emotionally, recuperation can take longer, especially if you run out of fuel in the last lap like in 2016," adds TOYOTA GAZOO Racing driver Sébastien Buemi, 2018 24 Hours of Le Mans winner.
Some drivers, like Sébastien Buemi, are back on the track in no time participating in other championships. It's an opportunity to savor or move on from their result at the 24 Hours of LeMans. Still, none can hardly wait for the next edition!