F1 could learn a few things from the magnificent Le Mans 24 Hours | Richard Williams

Last weekend around 250,000 people gathered to watch an event that remains a spectacle as thrilling as anything likely to be seen in F1 this year

The job of waving the tricolore to start the 85th edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans last weekend was given to Chase Carey, the new boss of Formula One. This is a man who wants more races on the grand prix calendar, and more of them in major cities like Miami and New York, where his drivers can be promoted as global entertainment personalities. I wonder what he made of his time in the Loire countryside, where around 250,000 people – more than for any F1 event – gathered to watch 60 cars of various shapes and sizes race around the clock in the hands of 180 largely unknown drivers. It was everything he appears not to want, and it was magnificent.

In 2023 Le Mans will celebrate its centenary. This is one of the great monuments of world sport, all the more valuable because it is a highly professional event that, even in the modern world, manages to retain a vital element of amateur participation and amateur ethos.

Related: Le Mans 24 Hours – for Steve McQueen, and many others, a race like no other | Giles Richards

Related: Timo Bernhard leads Porsche to third straight 24 Hours of Le Mans triumph

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Source: Formula 1

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