Felipe Drugovich under the spell of the 24 Hours of Le Mans

F2 champion in 2022, Felipe Drugovich discovers the 24 Hours of Le Mans at the wheel of the No. 311 Cadillac. The Brazilian driver looks back on his first contact with the Sarthe track, which he was able to experience day and night this Wednesday.

Published on 13/06/2024 à 17:08

Michael Duforest

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Felipe Drugovich under the spell of the 24 Hours of Le Mans

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Felipe, how was this first day at the 24 Hours of Le Mans ?

The circuit is first of all incredible. The combination of the circuit and the track is really great. I'm really enjoying it, I'm improving from lap to lap, because it's very different from what I've driven before. But it's going well.

Is testing the car at Laguna Seca upstream an advantage?

The Laguna Seca test was really helpful for me to understand the car, the procedures, that sort of thing. However, it's a very different circuit, and the settings are very different too. The car is much less loaded aerodynamically speaking, it is therefore much lighter, it slides a little more than at Laguna Seca. But it's really good to have been able to take this test to know all the procedures.

Driving at night, on cold tires, a difficult experience?

I had to do at least five night laps on Wednesday, because I'm a rookie. On cold tires at night, it's really very difficult. I'm a little used to it though F2, because it's not great on cold tires either. On the other hand, the F2 tire takes less time to heat up, here it really takes quite a few kilometers to generate temperature. It was quite tricky at first, but I'm learning every day.

The No. 311 was less lively than the other two Cadillacs in qualifying, for what reason?

A few cars had a bit of trouble getting from Sunday's Test Day to Wednesday's practice. I don't know if the temperatures changed or if the rubber deposited changed the track, but the feeling was different. I think it took us a little while to adjust to all of this. Pipo Derani made three attempts in qualifying. The first two weren't good, so we changed a lot of things on the car. Pipo felt good but he encountered traffic in the last sector and he had to abort his lap. It was a real shame, if he had been able to finish his lap we might have been able to place in Hyperpole. We see that the other Cadillacs are doing well, we should have been quite close to them.

What is your personal objective for this first at Le Mans?

My goal is to drive fast, not make mistakes, and above all make the most of it. It's a huge opportunity, it's not every day that a manufacturer places a driver who has never driven a Hypercar, and who has never driven at Le Mans, in one of its cars! I am really happy with the confidence they have in me. It’s a great opportunity and I really need to take advantage of it.

ALSO READ > Hyperpole at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, how does it work?

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