Just about every article about Le Mans seems to be getting mileage out of pointing out that Nico Hulkenberg is an F1 driver and Mark Webber used to be, and that they’re really good. Inevitably, this leads many to contrast the various virtues of F1 and endurance racing. This (and beer) led me to some musings about the similarities of the two forms of racing rather than their differences. After watching LMP1 cars accelerating out of a turn rocket past racing Ferraris (which are no slouch) as if they were standing still, I started to wonder how a modern F1 car might compare. My instinct is to assume that the F1 cars would blow away the competition, but then again were that the case I would expect LMP’s to look a lot more like F1 cars than they do.
Some obvious limitations come to mind: F1 cars don’t refuel (but they used to), their brakes only last about the distance of one race (if you’re lucky), and they’re so unreliable that the probability of one making it to the end of a 24-hour race without churning through a few engine and gearbox changes is effectively nil. If these could be remedied, however, what would be the result?
Wondering if anyone else had pondered this (mostly because I don’t feel like doing maths) I took to the Google, where I found this article, which states that the 2015 F1 engine regulations make them eligible to compete at Le Mans, and is generally much more optimistic about the reliability aspect.
What say you? Is it a pipe dream to think an F1 car could be developed to run a 24-hour race? Would it blow away the competition or fail to be competitive? Why hasn’t anybody tried yet?