ALREADY AT LE MANS: Force India's Nico Hulkenberg will drive in the 2015 Le Mans 24 Hours this weekend (June 13-14). Image: AFP / Mal Fairclough
LE MANS, France - Nico Hulkenberg wasted no time after the 2015 Canadian F1 GP on June 7 before heading to his next appointment - the 2015 Le Mans 24 Hours (June 13 - 14) in France.
Hulkenberg will juggle a full-time F1 seat and Le Mans and indeed posted a Twitter selfie with his Porsche prototype and the caption: "She's ready!"
An interested race spectator will be Hulkenberg's Force India boss Vijay Mallya, who will be trackside, Germany's Auto Motor and Sport has reported. Hulkenberg joked: "Vijay said he would only release me for the race if he could come to watch."
LE MANS ATTRACTION
Fernando Alonso also wanted to compete at the 2015 Le Mans but McLaren-Honda was not as keen as Mallya to allow it to happen. Alonso, who watched the 2014 race, was reportedly disappointed.
Alonso said: "The technology is very high. You can do two stints on one set of tyres with the lap times going up by no more than a second - we only dream about that in F1."
The fact that Hulkenberg, Alonso and Porsche driver Mark Webber rate Le Mans so highly is an indictment of the state of F1 midway through the 2015 season.
The 2015 Canadian GP (June 7) has been condemned by international media; not even the usually customary pace car spiced-up the racing action.
'NOT ENJOYING F1'
British driver-turned-commentator, David Coulthard, wrote in a column for the BBC: "The sad reality is that drivers are not enjoying the current F1."
One such, Coulthard said, was Alonso.
Cloulthard said:"In the previous two races (Canada and Monte Carlo) he has said two things that really hit home. The first was that the last time he was tested to his limit mentally and physically in a GP was 10 years earlier; the second that driving the current cars is more about systems management than driving skill.
"Of course drivers do not have all the answers but if you are not challenging the best guys, you are short-changing both them and the audience."
F1's dwindling audience has been most starkly felt in Germany. TV ratings for the 2015 Canada GP were reportedly lower that those for a women's football game between Germany and Ivory Coast. In Austria, promoter Red Bull is struggling to sell tickets for next weekend's race.
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