No car has the sought-after #24 this year, but the grid of the 86th 24 Hours of Le Mans comprises 24 drivers who have raced at least one Formula One Grand Prix. In this second and final instalment, we look at the Formula One career of some of these drivers.
These 24 drivers are split between the four classes as follows (in alphabetical order): Fernando Alonso, Sébastien Buemi, Jenson Button, Kamui Kobayashi, André Lotterer, Kazuki Nakajima, Vitaly Petrov, Stéphane Sarrazin and Bruno Senna in LMP1; Paul Di Resta, Jan Lammers, Pastor Maldonado, Juan Pablo Montoya, Felipe Nasr, Will Stevens, Giedo van der Garde and Jean-Eric Vergne in LMP2; Olivier Beretta, Sébastien Bourdais, Gianmaria Bruni, Antonio Giovinazzi, Jan Magnussen in LMGTE Pro; and Olivier Beretta, Giancarlo Fisichella and Pedro Lamy in LMGTE Am.
- Five of them have won at least one Grand Prix: Fernando Alonso (32), Jenson Button (15), Juan Pablo Montoya (7), Giancarlo Fisichella (3) and Pastor Maldonado (1).
- Two have been crowned Formula One world champion: Fernando Alonso (2005 and 2006) and Jenson Button (2009).
- Two others have won the World Endurance Drivers’ Championship title: André Lotterer (2012) and Sébastien Buemi (2014).
- Giancarlo Fisichella and Jenson Button were teammates of Fernando Alonso in Formula One, in 2005-06 (with Renault) and 2015-16 (with McLaren) respectively.
- In 2009, Toyota works driver Kamui Kobayashi contested his first two Grands Prix (Brazil and Abu Dhabi) with the Japanese constructor.
- Kazuki Nakajima participated in 36 Grands Prix between 2007 and 2009 for Williams F1, powered by Toyota engines at the time.
- With his third place in the 2011 Formula One season-opener in Australia, Vitaly Petrov became the first Russian to appear on a Grand Prix podium.
- Sébastien Bourdais (2008-09), Sébastien Buemi (2009-11) and Jean-Eric Vergne (2011-14) successively drove for the Scuderia Toro Rosso in Formula One.
- Stéphane Sarrazin competed in just one Grand Prix (Brazil in 1999) with the Minardi team where Fernando Alonso made his Formula One début two years later.
- Bruno Senna first took part in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2009, before contesting 46 Formula One Grands Prix between 2010 and 2012. For his sixth Le Mans appearance in 2018, he will take the wheel of an LMP1 prototype for the first time since that 2009 début. The Brazilian has competed twice in LMGTE Pro (2013 and 2014) and twice in LMP2 (2016 and 2017).
- In 2008, Gianmaria Bruni made a triumphant start to his 24 Hours of Le Mans career by winning the GT2 class for American team Risi Competizione at the wheel of a Ferrari F430.
- After their win at the Total 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps in May, Fernando Alonso, Sébastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima lead the drivers’ standings as the head to Le Mans for the second round of the World Endurance Championship Super Season.
Photo: Will #1 Rebellion R13 driver Bruno Senna be the first Brazilian to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans?