Former Williams driver crashes during first lap of Le Mans 24 Hours

Sam Cooper
Jack Aitken Le Mans crash.

Jack Aitken Le Mans crash.

The former Williams driver Jack Aitken crashed within the first lap of the 24 Hours of Le Mans race.

Aitken, driving for the Action Express Racing team, drove into the barrier on the exit of the first chicane just over a minute into the 24-hour race.

The 27-year-old was able to crawl his way back to the pits and the team made the necessary repairs to get the car running again but Aitken re-emerged at the back of the grid and after two hours of running, remained there.

Aitken spent three seasons with Williams having joined the driver academy in 2020 and even took part in the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix, filling in for George Russell who in turn was filling in for Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton after the seven-time World Champion tested positive for COVID.

Aitken left Williams at the conclusion of the 2022 season to focus on his sports-car career.

Aitken is not the only former F1 face on the grid with a total of 18 taking part in the iconic race. Most notable amongst them was 2009 World Champion Jenson Button who made his Le Mans debut in the Garage 56 team which this year took inspiration from NASCAR.

After two and a half hours of running it was another former F1 driver who led the proceedings with ex-Toro Rosso man Sébastien Buemi leading the way with his team Toyota Gazoo Racing.

Ferrari, who return to the race for the first time in 50 years, have former Alfa man and current Ferrari reserve driver Antonio Giovinazzi amongst their six drivers.

Image courtesy of Eurosport.