Fernando Alonso believes the Circuit de la Sarthe, home to the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans, is “way too fast and way too narrow” for Formula 1 cars to race on.
The two-time F1 world champion got to experience the circuit last weekend during a demo lap in an Alpine F1 car prior to the 24 Hours of Le Mans – a race he claimed victory at in 2018 with Toyota.
In it’s current guise, the circuit isn’t suitable according to Alonso, but he doesn’t believe it would take much to make it safe for F1 cars.
“It could be fun for sure to race there,” said the Spaniard. “I think it will not take too much in terms of preparation or engineering to go to tracks like Le Mans. Even with very short time I think our car was basically prepared to do that demo lap and it was close to a race situation.
“But I don’t know, at those speeds and talking about safety standards probably we’ll have to change a few things on the track itself. It will be way too fast and way too narrow in some of the sections on the straights. So potentially it would require some changes, more on-track.”
Le Mans long straights, particularly the Mulsanne Straight – a 3.7 mile stretch which is interrupted by two chicanes for safety reasons – could present challenges for F1’s current tyres according to Alonso. However Alonso believes a sub-three-minute time could be possible with the perfect lap.
“You’d have to execute the [perfect] lap and it was not that easy because honestly, with an F1 car, I felt the long straights were a little bit unusual for our tyres, our car.
“The braking points after the long straights were a little bit tricky because the front tyres tried to lock up and things like that. So if you really go for it and you push, it will be quite stressful. So in a way, I was happy that it was just a demo lap.”