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Featured Alonso to Contest WEC / Formula One Double Season in 2018

Discussion in 'Motorsports' started by Paul Jeffrey, Jan 30, 2018.

  1. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
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    Alonso Toyota WEC Deal.jpg
    McLaren Renault driver Fernando Alonso has signed to drive in the legendary Le Mans 24 Hours for Toyota this year, combining a part WEC season with his Formula One commitments.


    The 36-year-old double Formula One World Champion today confirmed he will contest all but one World Endurance Championship race for the Toyota works outfit this year as he continues his bid to secure the motorsport 'Triple Crown' of Le Mans, Monaco and Indy 500 victories.

    Making way for the Spanish Grand Prix driver will be 2014 WEC champion Anthony Davison, the British star unceremoniously demoted to a test and reserve role ahead of the new year as the German/Japanese squad look to make space for Alonso in their two car assault of Le Mans and the WEC.

    Despite signing a deal to drive in both the Le Mans 24 Hour and the full (but one race) WEC campaign this year, both Alonso and McLaren were at pains to reaffirm both parties commitment to Formula One as the main priority for the year ahead, with expectations of much increased competitiveness following the Woking teams switch to Renault power for the year ahead:

    “I’ve never been shy about my aim of winning motorsport’s ‘Triple Crown’ – the Monaco Grand Prix, the Indy 500, and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. We tried for Indy last year, came close, but just missed out,” confirmed Alonso.

    “This year, I have the chance thanks to McLaren to race for the win at Le Mans. It is a big challenge, much can go wrong, but I am ready, prepared and looking forward to the fight".

    Alonso has bucked the trend of recent years by participating in other racing activities outside of his Formula One commitments, having only just completed his first endurance race this very weekend at Daytona following his famous Indy 500 attempt in place of participating in the 2017 Monaco Grand Prix. With confirmation of his WEC deal the signs of a strong working relationship between team and driver continues despite a troubled few years with Honda power, something the driver himself was keen to emphasise during the confirmation of his new adventures for the year ahead

    “My deal to race in WEC was only made possible through the good understanding and strong relationship I have with McLaren, and I’m very happy that they listened and understood what this means to me.

    “In no way will this challenge take away from my main target of Formula 1 with McLaren. In 2018, my aim is to be competitive at every grand prix, and I feel sure that we are closer to achieving that.”
    Due to a clash between the USGP and the Fuji WEC race Alonso will be forced to complete only a part WEC season, potentially denting any championship challenge for the Spanish driver. With recent endurance experience from Daytona, a deal to race for potentially the most competitive LMP1 squad in World Endurance Championship and a continued eye of further Indy 500 participation, Alonso has today taken another step closer to achieving his 'Triple Crown' dream in coming years.

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    Pleased to see Alonso secure a WEC drive for the new year? Can the Spaniard win WEC and Le Mans on his first try? Let us know in the comments section below!
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2018
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  2. whip

    whip

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    well other drivers compete in multiple championships, nice to see f1 drivers being able to as well
     
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  3. Bert Austen

    Bert Austen
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    Great , see him at the race in Spa-Francorchamps , 5 may , looking forward :)
     
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  4. michelforest

    michelforest

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    Great news. I guess Alonso is preparing his post-F1 career. I'm a fan of his and I think it's really cool that he's trying something different. Plus, his helmet design for Daytona was awesome!:geek:
     
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  5. Mr Latte

    Mr Latte

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    Surely a driver cant give 100% to both over the course of a full season?
     
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  6. daceaki

    daceaki

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    This year's Le Mans will be fun, though last year it was also quite nice, very close racing in the GTE class.
     
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  7. Andrew Harper

    Andrew Harper
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    It's great news that Alonso is doing this, great publicity for WEC and of course Le Mans.

    He drove well at the Rolex 24 and I'm sure he'll do an excellent job as always.

    I think some F1 fans that have never watched an endurance race though will probably get bored (or confused) quite quickly. I witnessed that when Mark Webber fans came to see him at Silverstone. 6 hour events are not everyone's cup of tea when they've been used to watching races of 90 minutes. Driver changes, multiclass racing, etc.

    If he drives at Silverstone it will certainly help with the crowds and that will be great to see. There was certainly an upturn of spectators in April when Mark started driving for Porsche. The August date helps as well of course.

    I guess my only sadness is the removal of Anthony, he was sometimes the fastest driver in the car and I was slightly shocked when I read the arrangement that Toyota had come to. If he was crashing every five minutes I'd understand it.

    Always willing to chat to fans and sign autographs, top guy and a great driver.

    My only thought was he admitted for some time he was suffering from the back injury that was caused in that huge accident a few years back. Whether this has had an effect on his driving more than we are told I'm not sure. Still a shame anyway.

    If the car he was due to drive wins Le Mans this year, that will be a real kick in the teeth considering how long he's been trying to win it.
     
  8. Andrew Harper

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    Nice thought but I don't think so, I've watched F1 since about 1991 and this is the first time I've seen a top level driver do this, on this level of commitment at least.

    The factors are contracts of course, most don't permit drivers competing in other series. Mainly for safety reasons but also due to brand restrictions as well.

    F1 is also a very selfish world, which is why Alonso's attitude is so refreshing.

    As far as WEC is concerned I would imagine safety is the thing, there have been some huge accidents in recent years, lucky no serious injuries but it can happen. I think the huge accident that Mark had at Sao Paulo that year made him consider stopping and I can understand that.
     
  9. apex11

    apex11
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    I don't fully get this, i get it as it is Alonso, but heaps of F1 drop outs have gone on to do well in Indy, WEC etc etc.
    Indy 500 winner in 2017 was F1 drop out..... really so what if Alonso wins it? So did Hulk..

    Should we be more impressed that Alonso can do it?
    Why?
    If F1 reject Max Chilton can do well at Indy 500 so what if Alonso can?
     
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  10. formidable

    formidable

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    I'm happy.

    Probably, that year could win, if his team doesn't do mistakes and the car responds well.
     
  11. apex11

    apex11
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    Both Ant Davidson and Buemi could of been Le Mans winners were it not for car issues in 2017, so who cares if Alonso can win it? Clearly it is not beyond the reach of F1 drop outs so surely a 2 time WDC should make short work of it....

    If Alonso were in the Merc for the last few seasons he'd not give a stuff about Indy or Le Mans...
     
  12. Rodent

    Rodent
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    Very cool, he's a motorsport superstar so any motorsport event he participates in gets more coverage and more viewers, the build up to last years Indy 500 and this years Daytona 24h was quite the thing to behold. Not seen this amount of international passion for Indy since Mansells trip across the pond. The fact that he's not been able to jump into either of these events and curb-stomp the competition also speaks volumes to the uninitiated about the quality of the modern day sportscar racer.

    Keep it coming Alonso, you're opening to eyes of the masses to the louder, evener and less predictable world of endurance racing. Pretty sure that's doing God's work. :D
     
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  13. apex11

    apex11
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    Lol, Max Chilton was better than Alonso at Indy.... it's more about the quality of the modern day race car though isn't it really.
    The F1 rejects end up in these series and they will beat Alonso.
     
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  14. wombat999

    wombat999
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    Certainly in this case it is possible, the number of events is very low when you consider what most of the drivers did back in the day.
    Jim Clark, Jackie Stewart, Graham Hill, Jack Brabham, Dan Gurney, Denny Hulme, Phil Hill, Bruce McLaren, Fangio and a very long list of drivers drove just about anything and everywhere.
    Even a typical Grand Prix weekend would see (for example) Jim Clark driving a Lotus Cortina in touring cars, a Lotus 23 or a Lotus Elite in sports cars and an F2 Lotus as well as whatever his F1 mount was for the Grand Prix.
    These men drove at LM, won the Indy 500, even dominated the CanAm, while Moss and Fangio did the Mille Miglia (which Moss won!).........Moss even competed in Monte Carlo and the Tulip Rally.
    If it had wheels they raced it.
    The fact that the FIA managed to keep the calendar flexible (although usually only 10-12 Grands Prix were the norm) gave multi skilled drivers and event organisers the opportunity for true International Motor Sporting events.
     
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  15. Andrew Harper

    Andrew Harper
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    I agree but I think with modern contracts and just the demands on F1 drivers these days they don't get the opportunities they would like. For those drivers that are interested of course.

    Alonso seems to be the exception to the rule, most of the F1 drivers when asked if they would like to compete elsewhere on the whole say no, they would rather wait for their career in F1 to finish. As that's what they care about most at that time. Which is fair enough but slightly sad.

    I think in Stirling's day they just loved racing and competing. Racing gave them a buzz like nothing else. I think I also heard in an interview once that he felt it made him a better driver overall by driving so many different types of machinery and he simply loved it. It was more fun than a business then.

    However I agree that the FIA are getting the hint and trying to make sure the calendar(s) don't conflict too much and that's nice to see.
     
  16. Rot Teufel

    Rot Teufel

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    speaking about Davidson, i have found absurd from Toyota wave him off and still keeping Lopez...
    Anyway for front running in two series, he (Alonso) must have a lot of trust for 2018 season in McLaren and Renault (coff, sarcasm)
     
  17. Jose Ortiz

    Jose Ortiz
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    I think it’s always impressive whoever tries and wins in more than one category. The hype comes, IMHO, from the refreshing attitude of openly trying the triple crown from the position of a F1 world champion. It’s truly a rare event, extremely difficult to achieve, and thus well deserving of the attention and recognition he is taking. With this, Alonso is also making a huge contribution to motorsports in general.
    All the best.
     
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  18. WallyTP

    WallyTP

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    I agree. Imagine if Alonso gets to be a contender for the F1 title. He will be so tired and he may end up loosing the title because of that. He is one of the best, but he seems to make all the wrong decisions.
     
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  19. WallyTP

    WallyTP

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    Alonso had like what? 10 seconds to learn the car and the track? Yet he was driving that car at the front like any of the other guys till the car broke. That's got to be Fing embarrassing for those guys. Alonso is on a different universe compared to Max Washout Chilton.

    The only way the F1 rejects will beat Alonso is if they take him out or if his car breaks.

    Give a Mercedes F1 to the best indy driver and he will be running 2 laps behind the Saubers half the season.

    Best example. Sebastian Bourdais. Completely dominates CART when he got there. Goes over to F1 and gets eaten alive. Not even a hint of brilliance during his whole F1 stint.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2018
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  20. apex11

    apex11
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    An Indy car driver in Lewis's spec Merc would be 2 laps behind the Saubers ?? Really...you actually said that?
    Any pro driver could be at least top ten in that Merc....
    The point i am making is that F1 drop outs end up in Indy / WEC / FE. Then a WDC goes there and we get excited. Look at Justin Wilson RIP, plenty go to these series with little or no fanfare and do well....
    I like Alonso but others have done it already and been successful at it....he get specail treatment because like everything Motorsport is a big X Factor popularity contest...

    Indy 500 winner 2017 Takuma Sato.........ex F1 driver total points in F1 over 6 seasons...44...
    no wins no podiums...ever...
    Don't see many people hyping up Sato for his achievement...
     
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