Fernando Alonso will end his WEC Toyota contract at the conclusion of the Le Mans 24 Hours next month, with Brendon Hartley replacing the double World Champion.
Having jumped at the chance to spearhead Toyota's assault on the 2018/19 World Endurance Championship and double Le Mans 24 Hour campaign after retiring from Formula One at the end of the 2018 season, 2 x World Champion Fernando Alonso will leave the Japanese outfit next month in pursuit of the next chapter in a glittering career.
"I am sad to say goodbye to Fernando and would like to thank him a lot for his contribution to this fantastic season during which he has written his name in Toyota's motorsport history," said Toyota Gazoo Racing Team President Hisatake Murata. "His passion, desire to win and willingness to chase his dreams is truly impressive. We will enjoy working together for the final two races when I know we all share the same target of winning Le Mans and both World Championships.”
Having completed what he set out to do with Toyota, namely win the most famous race in the world at Le Mans, Alonso has decided to shift his attention elsewhere for the coming year, starting with his and McLaren's bid for Indy 500 honours at the Brickyard later this month.
With big shoes to fill for next season, Toyota have elected to overlook demoted reserve driver and former World Champion Anthony Davison in favour of another former World Champion, drafting in long time Porsche star and former Toro Rosso Grand Prix driver Brendon Hartley.
Despite a disappointing time in Grand Prix racing, Hartley remains one of the most formidable endurance racing drivers in the world, and has already tasted WEC championship success and Le Mans victory when competing for Porsche in the series prior to his ill fated Formula One debut.
Hartley will join up with his new squad upon the conclusion of the Le Mans 24 hour race in June, in readiness for another crack at the World Endurance Championship title next season.
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