Leclerc would love to drive Ferrari Le Mans Hypercar if opportunity arises

Charles Leclerc says he would love to enter the 24 Hours of Le Mans with Ferrari if an opportunity were to arise with its newly-announced Hypercar programme

Leclerc would love to drive Ferrari Le Mans Hypercar if opportunity arises

Ferrari announced on Wednesday that it would be returning to the premier class of sportscar racing in 2023 by entering the Le Mans Hypercar class of the World Endurance Championship.

The programme will see Ferrari embark on its first factory prototype campaign at world championship level since 1973, having last won Le Mans outright in 1965.

Leclerc took part in the Motorsport Games-run virtual Le Mans event last year, and said afterwards that he was eager to take part in the real thing one day.

Speaking at Ferrari's launch event ahead of the 2021 season, Leclerc said that while his focus lay on Formula 1, he would jump at the chance to race with the team at Le Mans in the future.

"I love Le Mans, I've always been a fan of Le Mans," Leclerc said. "If the opportunity arises, then I will be very happy to join.

"At the moment, my main focus is Formula 1. But, again, if there is an opportunity, why not?"

Leclerc's team-mate, Carlos Sainz Jr, was cooler on the possibility of racing at Le Mans in the future, but called the Hypercar programme a "very interesting project".

"It's great that a brand like Ferrari wants to try again in Le Mans, and I will be the main supporter and main fan of them," Sainz said.

"But, driving-wise, I think we have a lot of work to do here in Ferrari and my full focus is with Scuderia Ferrari Formula 1, and other projects at the moment are not in my direct mind.

"I will be following closely, but it's still a bit too far away."

Ferrari's expansion into prototype racing comes following an evaluation of other motorsport activities that also saw it consider possible involvement in IndyCar.

But Mattia Binotto denied the decision to enter LMH was a result of the budget cap in F1 that has been introduced for the 2021 season.

"No, it's not a consequence of the financial regulations at all," Binotto said.

"The programme has been evaluated from the company point of view [to be] of interest, and we decided as Ferrari to be involved."

Although F1 team principal Binotto distanced himself from heading up the LMH squad, he said he would be open to lending any expertise where possible.

"Will I be in charge? I think we should understand that Ferrari is a unique company - it doesn't matter who is in charge and who is responsible," Binotto said.

"But no, I will not be directly in charge myself. We are, as Scuderia Ferrari, fully focused on the F1 programme.

"But no doubt, if as [the F1 team] we may support with somehow know-how, expertise, we will do it because, once again, we are a unique company."

shares
comments
Webber's Williams switch: In defence of an F1 move gone bad

Previous article

Webber's Williams switch: In defence of an F1 move gone bad

Next article

Perez: Red Bull chance will "open many doors" in F1

Perez: Red Bull chance will "open many doors" in F1
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Charles Leclerc
Teams Ferrari
Author Luke Smith
How “overwhelming” McLaren move has given Ricciardo a new verve Plus

How “overwhelming” McLaren move has given Ricciardo a new verve

Daniel Ricciardo has found a new lease of life at McLaren – a move that’s been years in the making, as he explains to STUART CODLING…

The German legend who raced and beat Nuvolari Plus

The German legend who raced and beat Nuvolari

Ninety years ago, Rudolf Caracciola became the first non-Italian to win the epic Mille Miglia. We look at how he stacks up to the most famous pre-war ace Tazio Nuvolari, one of the drivers he beat on that day in 1931

How 2021's midfielders have taken lessons from F1's top teams Plus

How 2021's midfielders have taken lessons from F1's top teams

Formula 1’s latest Imola adventure turned into an expensive trip for many teams due to several crashes throughout the weekend. While balancing the books is an added factor in 2021 with the cost cap, a few midfield teams have cashed in early on development investments

Formula 1
Apr 19, 2021
Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Driver Ratings

A frantic wet race at Imola produced plenty of excitement and drama as drivers scrabbled for grip. Amid the hatful of mistakes and incidents that ensued, who kept their noses cleanest?

Formula 1
Apr 19, 2021
How the Emilia Romagna GP result hinged on three crucial saves Plus

How the Emilia Romagna GP result hinged on three crucial saves

Rain before the start of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix promised to spice up the action, and the race certainly delivered on that. Max Verstappen got the best launch to win from Lewis Hamilton, but both got away with mistakes that could have had serious consequences

Formula 1
Apr 19, 2021
The back-bedroom world-beater that began a new F1 era Plus

The back-bedroom world-beater that began a new F1 era

The first in a line of world beaters was designed in a back bedroom and then constructed in a shed. STUART CODLING recalls the Tyrrell 001

Formula 1
Apr 18, 2021
The clues Hamilton’s F1 contract afterthought gives to his future Plus

The clues Hamilton’s F1 contract afterthought gives to his future

The Formula 1 world reacted with surprise when it learned Lewis Hamilton’s long-awaited new Mercedes deal guarantees his presence on the grid only until the end of 2021. Both parties claimed publicly they were happy with the arrangement but, asks MARK GALLAGHER, is there more to it than that?

Formula 1
Apr 17, 2021
How a harshly ejected Red Bull star has been hooked by racing again Plus

How a harshly ejected Red Bull star has been hooked by racing again

Driver-turned-DJ Jaime Alguersuari lost his love for motorsport when he was booted out of Formula 1 just as he was starting to polish his rough edges. Having drifted from category to category then turned his back on racing altogether in 2015, he’s come full circle and is planning a return in karts for fun

Formula 1
Apr 17, 2021