F1 drivers in the 2009 Le Mans 24 Hours

Peuget and Aston Martin both have F1 drivers in their Le Mans squads

Peuget and Aston Martin both have F1 drivers in their Le Mans squads

Senna, Mansell, Prost… the 2009 Le Mans entry list has some famous F1 names on it.

Those three are, of course, ‘sons of…’ plus one ‘nephew of…’. But there are 23 other drivers racing at Le Mans this weekend who all have F1 starts to their name.

Here’s a list of all of them, including former Super Aguri driver turned BBC commentator Anthony Davidson.

LMP1

Tomas Enge
AMR Eastern Europe Lola Aston Martin #007

Last F1 start: 2001 Japanese Grand Prix, Prost-Acer, DNF (gearbox)

Infamously lost the 2002 F3000 championship after failing a drugs test (for cannabis). Started three of Prost’s final races in 2001 after Jean Alesi abandoned the struggling team.

Anthony Davidson
Aston Martin Racing Lola Aston Martin #008

Last F1 start: 2008 Spanish Grand Prix, Super Aguri-Honda, DNF (radiator)

Lost his F1 drive when Super Aguri collapsed last year. Now doing a superb job as a commentator for BBC Radio, but far too good to be confined to be standing around holding a microphone.

Jos Verstappen
Aston Martin Racing Lola Aston Martin #008

Last F1 start: 2003 Japanese Grand Prix, Minardi-Cosworth, 15th

Davidson’s team mate Verstappen occasionally partnered Michael Schumacher at Benetton in Schumacher’s first championship year. In the news earlier this year when he was given a suspended jail sentence for threatening his wife.

Allan McNish
Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R15 TDI #1

Last F1 start: 2002 United States Grand Prix, Toyota, 15th

Tipped as an F1 star of the future in his early days before his career stalled. Did (almost) a full season for Toyota in F1 in 2002 before being dropped. Since then has been very successful in sports cars, winning the Le Mans 24 Hours twice, including playing a starring role in Audi’s excellent win last year.

Pedro Lamy
Team Peugeot Total Peugeot 908 HDi FAP #7

Last F1 start: 1996 Japanese Grand prix, Minardi-Ford, 12th

Portugese driver who suffered a terrible crash during testing at Silverstone in 1994. His Lotus cleared the barriers and landed in a spectator tunnel which, mercifully, was empty.

Christian Klien
Team Peugeot Total Peugeot 908 HDi FAP #7

Last F1 result: 2006 Italian Grand Prix, Red Bull-Ferrari, 11th

Placed by Red Bull at Jaguar in 2004 for an astronomical sum. Red Bull took over the team in 2005 and a poorly thought-out attempt at rotating Klien’s seat with Vitantonio Liuzzi that year did little for his development. Dropped before the end of 2006, but subbed for Jenson Button in practice for the British Grand Prix in 2007. Now a BMW F1 test driver.

Franck Montagny
Team Peugeot Total Peugeot 908 HDi FAP #8

Last F1 result: 2006 French Grand Prix, Super Aguri-Honda, 16th

The French driver made seven starts for Super Aguri in 2007 until the team dropped him for Sakon Yamamoto who, being Japanese, was considered a more compelling proposition for the team’s sponsors.

Stephane Sarrazin
Team Peugeot Total Peugeot 908 HDi FAP #8

Last F1 result: 1999 Brazilian Grand Prix, Minardi-Ford, DNF

Substitued for Luca Badoer at Minardi in the 1999 Brazilian Grand Prix, and crashed heavily after 31 laps.

Sebastien Bourdais
Team Peugeot Total Peugeot 908 HDi FAP #8

Last F1 result: 2009 Monaco Grand Prix, Toro Rosso-Ferrari, 8th

The days when F1 drivers turned up in droves to participate in the Le Mans 24 Hours are, sadly, long behind us. Bourdais is the first driver to do so since Montagny in 2006, so three cheers for him. The pair together with Sarrazin form the first of Peugeot’s two cars manned by current or past F1 drivers (and, in this case, drivers who are all French).

Marc Gene
Team Peugeot Total Peugeot 908 HDi FAP #9

Last F1 result: 2004 British Grand Prix, Williams-BMW, 12th

Made 33 starts for Minardi and later appeared as a substitute for Ralf Schumacher at Williams in 2003 and 2004.

Alexander Wurz
Team Peugeot Total Peugeot 908 HDi FAP #9

Last F1 result: 2007 Chinese Grand Prix, Williams-Toyota, 12th

Had an F1 career in two parts. First came four seasons with Benetton lasting until 2000. Then, after a long period as a test driver for McLaren, he returned as a one-off at San Marino in 2005, finishing on the podium after 71 races out of the cockpit. But a return season with Williams in 2007 yielded little success and he retired one race before the end of the season.

David Brabham
Team Peugeot Total Peugeot 908 HDi FAP #9

Last F1 result: 1994 Australian Grand Prix, Simtek-Ford, DNF (engine)

Brabham, son of three times champion Sir Jack Brabham, completes Peugeot’s second all-F1 car (Gene/Wurz/Brabham). Drove for his father’s eponymous team in 1990, then returned with Simtek in 1994.

Tiago Monteiro
Team ORECA Matmut AIM Oreca 01 AIM #10

Last F1 result: 2006 Brazilian Grand Prix, Midland-Toyota, 15th

Impressively finished his first 16 Grands Prix in a row for Jordan – including third in the infamous 2005 United States Grand Prix. Dropped at the end of 2006, now races in the World Touring Car Championship for Seat as well as running the GP2 Ocean Racing Technology.

Olivier Panis
Team ORECA Matmut AIM Oreca 01 AIM #11

Last F1 result: 2004 Japanese Grand Prix, Toyota, 14th

One-time Grand Prix winner for Ligier in 1996 before breaking his leg at Montreal the following season. Stints at BAR and Toyota followed and despite stepping diwn from the latter’s race team in 2004 he remained as a test driver for three more years.

Narain Karthikeyan
Kolles Audi R10 TDI #14

Last F1 result: 2005 Chinese Grand Prix, Jordan-Ford, DNF

Team mate of Monteiro at Jordan in 2005 who only distinguished himself with a hefty shunt in his final race at Shanghai. Has since raced in A1 Grand Prix, giving the Indian team its first win.

Jean-Christophe Boullion
Pescarolo Sport Peugeot 908 HDi FAP #17

Last F1 result: 1995 Pacific Grand Prix, Sauber-Ford, DNF

Former Williams test driver who took over from Karl Wendlinger at Sauber for 11 races in 1995.

LMP2

Hideki Noda
KSM Lola B07/46 – Mazda #39

Last F1 result: 1994 Australian Grand Prix, Larrousse-Ford, DNF

Started three races for Larrousse in 1994 as the team was on its last legs. He suffered two car failures and spun out in the rain-soaked Japanese Grand Prix. The sole F1 driver in the LMGT2 class, Noda is making his second Le Mans start in a Lola-Mazda.

LMGT1

Jan Magnussen
Corvette Racing Corvette C6.R #63

Last F1 result: 1998 Canadian Grand Prix, Stewart-Ford, 6th

Hotly-tipped talent who drove for Jackie Stewart’s team for a season and a half before being dropped.

Olivier Beretta
Corvette Racing Corvette C6.R #64

Last F1 result: 1994 Hungarian Grand Prix, Larrousse-Ford, 9th

Drove the same car as Noda earlier in 1994, before being replaced by a series of different drivers.

Marco Apicella
JLOC Isao Noritake Lamborghini Murcielago R-GT #68

Last F1 result: 1993 Italian Grand Prix, Jordan-Hart, DNF

One of only eight drivers to have started a single Grand Prix yet failed to complete the first lap. Read more about him and the other seven here: One lap wonders

LMGT2

Gianmaria Bruni
AF Corse Ferrari F430 GT #78

Last F1 result: 2004 Brazilian Grand Prix, 17th

After racing for Minardi in 2004 he spent two seasons in Gp2 in the hope of winning promotion back into F1. Since then he has raced sports cars, winning the FIA GT championship last year alongside Tony Vilander in an AF Corse Ferrari.

Mika Salo
Risi Competizione Ferrari F430 GT #82

Last F1 result: 2002 Japanese Grand Prix, Toyota, 8th

Several impressive results for Tyrrell failed to land him a competitive drive until he was drafted in as Michael Schumacher’s substitute in 1999. Salo produced mixed performances for Ferrari – he should have won at Hockenheim, but qualified 18th at the Hungaroring. Later drove for Toyota alongside McNish before the pair were dropped at the end of 2002.

Eric van de Poele
Risi Competizione Ferrari F430 GT #83

Last F1 result: 1992 Italian Grand Prix, Fondmetal-Ford, DNF

Sampled a selection of terrible F1 machinery in 1991 and 1992, achieving five starts from 29 attempts. Should have finished in the points on the sole occasion he qualified in 1991, but his car ran out of fuel in the dying stages of the San Marino round.

Famous names

Three famous F1 surnames are contesting the Le Mans 24 Hours this year.

Bruno Senna, nephew of Ayrton, partners Monteiro and Stephane Ortelli in the Oreca squad. Nicolas Prost, son of Alain, is in a Speedy Racing Lola-Aston. Both are in LMP1.

Leo Mansell, son of Nigel, is racing in the LMGT2 category in a Team Modena-run Ferrari F430.

Last year, 28 F1 drivers past and present entered the Le Mans 24 Hours. This year that number has fallen to 23. Among those who have dropped out since last year are Jacques Villeneuve, Heinz-Harald Frentzen, Karl Wendlinger, Christian Fittipaldi, Ricardo Zonta, Jan Lammers, Andrea Chiesa, Massimiliano Papis and Toshio Suzuki.

Which of the F1 drivers are in with a chance of winning their classes this year? Have your say in the comments.

Read more about Le Mans

Allan McNish is aiming for a third Le Mans victory this year

Allan McNish is aiming for a third Le Mans victory this year

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33 comments on F1 drivers in the 2009 Le Mans 24 Hours

  1. Jones said on 12th June 2009, 14:06

    I thought Alonso was planning to race at Le Mans, what happened?

    • Sush Meerkat said on 12th June 2009, 16:01

      he had to share the victory, he wanted number 1 status and they just wouldn’t let him take all the credit. Even though he bought 6 hundreth of a second to the LMP1 cars.

      So he had a hissy fit and he’s driving the 24 hours himself in his Megane TDI.

  2. persempre said on 12th June 2009, 21:01

    Slapped wrists, Keith ;) or have I missed it?
    I can`t see the name Ickx on your “famous” list.
    Vanina, daughter of Jacky, is driving a Creation.

  3. The sri lankan said on 12th June 2009, 22:31

    PLease If you can Keit, Find some High Quality pics of the Lemans like you do with F1. Cheers

  4. Ronan said on 13th June 2009, 11:32

    Somewhat off topic, as someone who doesn’t have Eurosport is there anywhere I can stream the race online?

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