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The Alpine team's cars did not finish. © ANSA / CHRISTOPHE PETIT TESSON

“Heartbreaking”: Early exit for Schumacher in Le Mans

Mick Schumacher’s debut at the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans ended prematurely with much frustration and disappointment.

After just five and a half hours, teammate Nicolas Lapierre had to park the hypercar of the French manufacturer Alpine. "Heartbreaking. No words," the racing team wrote on social media on Saturday evening.

The manufacturer's second racing car, which also has a team in Formula 1, also had to pull out at almost the same time. These were the first two failures of the 62 cars in total at this year's 24 Hours. The team assumed that both cars had engine failure.

After starting from ninth place, which Lapierre had secured, he also started the race at 16.00 p.m. The start was given by France's football idol, former world champion Zinédine Zidane. Lapierre then handed the car over to Mick Schumacher.

Schumacher faster than Alpine colleagues

The 25-year-old completed 13 laps on the 33-kilometer-long track. He was the fastest of the Alpine drivers to date; the son of Formula 1 record world champion Michael Schumacher reached a top speed of 340,19 kilometers per hour on his fastest lap, according to official figures. In total, the team, which included another Frenchman in Matthieu Vaxivière, only managed 88 laps.

For Mick Schumacher, the early exit represents another setback despite his strong performance up to that point. After his two years as a regular driver in Formula 1 with the American Haas team in 2021 and 2022, he was unable to get a new contract and has since been looking for a cockpit in the premier class of motorsport.

What’s next for Schumacher?

He also wanted to draw attention to himself again by working for Alpine in the World Endurance Championship as a second job alongside his position as a test and reserve driver for Mercedes in Formula 1. This didn't work out as hoped either.

His father Michael competed in Le Mans once 33 years ago. The now 55-year-old finished fifth in 1991 and shortly afterwards entered Formula 1, where he won the world championship title seven times.

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