SPIELBERG, Austria (Reuters) - Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton bucked a trend on Thursday by expressing no interest in competing in the Le Mans 24 Hours race.
While rivals made no secret of their desire to emulate Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg, who won the race on Sunday with Porsche team mates Earl Bamber and Nick Tandy, Hamilton remained unmoved.
“I didn’t watch it, I honestly don’t think I’ve ever seen Le Mans,” the Mercedes driver told reporters at the Austrian Grand Prix.
“It’s not something I’ve ever been particularly interested in. I naturally love cars but it’s not been something I ever wanted to do so I don’t plan to.”
The view elsewhere was very different, with Hulkenberg congratulated on his triumph and hailed as a trailblazer in becoming the first active F1 driver to win Le Mans since 1991.
Brazilian Felipe Massa, a race winner with Ferrari and on pole in Austria for Williams last year, said it was something he would like to do one day.
”To race there? Yeah, I think so,“ he said. ”The best car after Formula One is what they are using there...I think it’s amazing.
“Maybe I think about going there because of the car and some interesting races they have.”
McLaren’s Fernando Alonso said Le Mans was in his plans.
“I considered to race in Le Mans. In the future, and when in the future I don’t know, I just said it was very close this year, so maybe next year. I don’t know,” said the Spaniard.
Australian Daniel Ricciardo said he had watched most of the race and was a fan.
“Racing is what we do, it’s fun, it’s nice to have a weekend off but when I was watching it I was obviously thinking it would be nice to be racing as well, on this weekend off,” said the Red Bull driver.
“Fortunately Nico’s made us all look good and I think he’s made it all seem possible for us now. So, maybe we’ll get the praise from our teams to venture into these things for the future.”
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel agreed with Ricciardo.
“It was great to see the guys were actually flat out from the first lap. For all of the race, basically. So, I think as racing drivers that’s what we’re after. To push every single lap and for a long time, obviously that means more fun,” said the German.
Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Pritha Sarkar