Jun.12 (GMM) Le Mans is a circuit for “real men” of motor racing.
That is the claim of Nico Hulkenberg, who has qualified a strong third overall for his debut in the fabled 24 hour race set to take place this weekend.
“Driving here is fascinating,” the German, who is combining his part-time Porsche seat this year with formula one, is quoted by Brazil’s Globo.
“It’s an old track, for real men,” Hulkenberg smiled. “You really have to pay attention!”
As for the difference between endurance sports car racing and F1, he said: “It is different, but it’s not that hard to get used to.
“When you hear ‘endurance’, you think of saving the car and tyres. But very quickly I learned that’s not right. The tyres are very consistent and this enables you to really push,” added Hulkenberg.
The 27-year-old revealed that he has been helped on his learning curve by Porsche stablemate Mark Webber, who left formula one completely at the end of 2013.
The plain-speaking Australian is among those who regret the direction F1 has moved in over the past half-decade.
“When they changed the rules and with (tyre supplier) Pirelli, the G-forces plummeted,” he is quoted by Spain’s El Confidencial.
“Suddenly, the drivers could be 30 per cent less fit. For us, the most demanding period for speeds, braking and cornering was the mid-2000s.
“The stands were full because the cars looked and sounded fantastic and were difficult to drive,” Webber added.