Fernando Alonso and others keen on Le Mans after Nico Hulkenberg triumph

Charles Coates/Getty Images

Fernando Alonso is one of a number of drivers who hopes to drive at the Le Mans 24 Hours in the future after seeing Force India's Nico Hulkenberg win the event this year.

Hulkenberg was given permission by Force India to race in two World Endurance Championship rounds this season with Porsche and, along with Earl Bamber and Nick Tandy, won the prestigious race on his debut. He became the first active F1 driver to win at Le Mans since 1991 and the prospect of his colleagues following in his example was raised in Austria's Thursday press conference, where Hulkenberg sat front and centre.

Alonso reportedly came close to driving alongside Hulkenberg in the winning #19 Porsche 919 Hybrid, only for the deal to be scuppered by Honda at the 11th hour. The Spaniard admitted racing there in 2016 is a possibility.

"I have considered racing in Le Mans in the future," he said. "When will be the future? I don't know. It was very close this year, so maybe next year, I don't know."

Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel both hinted at an enthusiasm to do it in future.

"Yeah, I think it would be fun," Ricciardo said. "I watched quite a lot of it actually - about 18 hours! I'm a fan, I'm a fan! It was cool. Racing is what we do, it's fun and it's nice to have a weekend off but when I was watching it I was obviously thinking it would be nice to race this weekend as well. If we could manage to do more like they did in the old days, there was jumping driving between categories. Fortunately Nico's made us all look good and I think he's made it all seem possible for us now. Maybe we'll all get the praise from our teams to venture into these things for the future."

Four-time world champion Vettel said: "A little along the lines of Daniel - I think it's great to watch. Everyone has the impression that in a 24 hour race people tend to take it easy because the race is so long and so many things can happen, but it was great to see the guys were actually flat out from the first lap for all of the race basically. As racing drivers that's what we're after, to push every single lap and for a long time that means more fun. Obviously something to think about for the future and massive respect to Nico for what he did."

Felipe Massa, one of F1's most experienced drivers, also said he would jump at the chance to race at Le Mans when asked at Williams' media session.

"To race there? Yeah, I think so, I like it. The best cars after Formula One are what they're using there. To be honest [LMP1] is like F1 with close wheels and closed cockpits. I think it's amazing. "If you move away from Formula One, you need to still have fun and drive one of the best and most technological cars. So maybe I'll think about going there because of the cars and interesting races they have."

Enthusiasm wasn't limited solely to former world champions and race winners - even rookies seem keen to give Le Mans a try.

When the questioner joked racing at Le Mans might be far away for him, Toro Rosso's Carlos Sainz replied: "Or not! Who knows? If the opportunity comes, why not take it? It's one of the most prestigious races in the sport and to participate in that after participating in Formula One would be something mega. I'm open - more than open. Anything that has four wheels and a steering wheel and an engine I would like to drive."

With Porsche beating Audi at the prestigious race, the drivers at fellow German manufacturer Mercedes seemed less keen to nail their colours to the Le Mans mast.

"I didn't watch it," Lewis Hamilton said. "I honestly don't think I've ever seen Le Mans. It's not something I've ever been particularly interested in. Naturally I love cars but it's not been something I've ever wanted to do so I don't plan to."

Nico Rosberg simply said: "No, not really at the moment. I'm pretty focussed on this year so I haven't thought about that."