Alonso wants to race at Le Mans after F1

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Fernando Alonso says he would like to race in the Le Mans 24 Hours when he is done racing in Formula One.


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Alonso plans Le Mans move after F1 (BBC)

“To win the Le Mans 24 Hours means a lot to any driver, so one day hopefully I will race there. I think I will – that’s 100% decided.”

‘Sparks’ test set for Austria practice (Autosport)

“Ferrari will fit Kimi Raikkonen’s car with two skid blocks for the opening day of running at the Red Bull Ring, with Mercedes fitting some in a different position on Nico Rosberg’s car.”

No more random spins – Raikkonen (ESPN)

“When many things came together it can happen, we knew it after practice but probably didn’t put enough thought into it, but it will not happen again. We have made a lot of changes since the last race.”

‘Daniel not tougher than Mark’ (Sky)

Sebastian Vettel: “I think [Ricciardo] is going a very good job, I am not doubting that and he is able to get the maximum out of the car which he has been since race one, which is good. On my side we had a couple of things to overcome, but it is good to see the other half is doing well.”

Lewis Hamilton denies Nico Rosberg’s claim of having an edge mentally (The Guardian)

“It’s positive he feels that way, even for me. If he is feeling that way and I beat him anyway, that is even better for me.”

Ecclestone says his resignation from F1 board disrupting way sport is run (Autoweek)

“Stepping down from the board is just an aggravation for everybody including [CVC deputy chairman] Donald [Mackenzie] because I have to send contracts to him to sign.”

American F1 team to create 250 jobs in the UK (The Telegraph)

“American businessman Gene Haas has revealed that he is planning to create around 250 jobs in the UK by locating his new Formula One team in the country.”

Valtteri Bottas Q&A: Williams’ best yet to come (F1)

“Compared to last year everything is an improvement. The step forward was really big – maybe even bigger than we expected – and right now we are competing in a quite strong position.”


Comment of the day

Should the FIA take a leaf out of FIFA’s book?

When FIFA fight against racism, no one claims that they are “doing politics”. No one claims that anti-racism statements “could cause serious reputational and financial damage to our client”. People accept that racism is a bad thing, period. FIA should have the same attitude towards homophobia.

It is true that homophobia is a more divisive topic than racism. However, article three of FIFA statutes now clearly states that “Discrimination of any kind against a country, private person or group of people on account of race, skin colour, […] sexual orientation or any other reason is strictly prohibited and punishable by suspension or expulsion.” A similar statement by FIA is long overdue.

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On this day in F1

On this day in 1994 ex-F1 drivers Yannick Dalmas and Mauro Baldi shared victory in the Le Mans 24 Hours with Hurley Haywood. They were at the wheel of a Dauer 962LM, which to all intents and purposes was a Porsche 962, albeit altered to get around regulations requiring cars to be based on road-going models.

The trio had been run close by the Toyota 94C-V of Jordan F1 driver Eddie Irvine, alongside Mauro Martini and Jeff Krosnoff. The car was originally to have been piloted by Roland Ratzenberger, before his death in April. His name was left on its flanks as a tribute.

A gearbox problem in the final hour wrecked their chances of victory, but Irvine claimed second place as the final lap began:

Ten years ago today Michael Schumacher won the United States Grand Prix – his eighth win in the first nine races.

Rubens Barrichello made it another one-two and Takuma Sato took the only podium finish of his career for BAR.

But there was concern for the condition of Ralf Schumacher, who crashed at the high-speed final turn. He injured his back and missed the next six races:

Image © Ferrari/Ercole Colombo

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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63 comments on “Alonso wants to race at Le Mans after F1”

  1. Paul (@frankjaeger)
    20th June 2014, 0:11

    Brilliant twitter post Keith! It’s a shame those who have the power don’t understand or listen

    1. What more is there to say. + millions.

    2. Excellent! More coffee on the keyboard . . .

  2. I once had spark sticks on my skateboard. Even at 11 years old i knew they were a waste of time and money.

    1. I am left wondering if June 20th. is in some countries (Austria ?) the equivalent of April 1st. in English speaking countries. Although on reflection it wasn’t April Fools day when Bernie suggested trackside sprinklers, I guess they are next.

      1. @hohum – Sprinklers, for when the sparks get out of hand…

        1. @bullmello, LOL, another of Bernies cunning conspiracies ? and since you have injected a modicum of logic, into what otherwise appears to be farce, I have realised that sparks, in March in Melbourne (Aus.), are likely to be forbidden as a potential wildfire hazard.

          1. @hohum – Same here in California. Well, if we had an F1 race here. :)

      2. April 1st is April 1st, everywhere. German had the idea as an april-1st-joke on their website this year:
        However, that´s only a part of what was proposed there. We´re still missing artificial jet-of-flames from the exhaust on shifting.

  3. Apologies in advance to anyone who misconstrued the headline as being that Alonso might be racing in the Moto GP event at Le Mans, or that he will be competing immediately after this weekend’s F1 race, or that the story referred to footballer Xabi Alonso, 15th century conquistador Alonso Fernandez de Lugo or the fictitious protagonist of Don Quixote, Alonso Quixano. ;-)

    1. Haha!!! COTD? XD

    2. A big welcome to the new frisky Keith.

    3. Yeah @keith
      After reading that headline i fully expected Alonso to be anouncing he’s teaming up with Webber for next years event ,
      Still waiting ?
      You’ve led us on again Keith :(


    4. Xabi Alonso XD .

    5. Sarcasm quota for the day? Check.

    6. Oh, I expected Alonso to head straight to Le Mans after the race on Sunday and just randomly drive around it, passing the French traffic…

    7. I thought it was about Xabi, given the current form of ‘Team La Roja’ he will retire much sooner than Fernando ;)

    8. Its ok @keithcollantine we’re all use to the trumped up headlines that you push out day after day… I just keep reading, because one day I expect to be surprised, and actually read something worthwhile….

  4. Kudos to ctod. It’s nice when someone finds the words to express something in stark terms that leave no room for bs arguments.

    1. @maciek, @ girts The only reason the FIFA takes this position towards racism is because fans threw bananas and other fruits to african players. Some players showed unacceptable behaviour towards other players. I don’t think any racer would do that towards for example Hamilton.

      The FIA has nothing to do with the LGBT community. If a racer were to be gay, which without a doubt there will be, there is nothing the FIA as an organisation has to say or tweet for that matter. The FIA is in first place an international organisation that works around motorsport, not a human rights organisation. Which does not mean they don’t care about it.

      The fact the guy from Lotus got fired is because he used a company twitter to tweet personal opinins. Not the company its opinions or positions towards something. This time he tweeted something we also agree to but imagine if he tweeted for example something like ‘Obama sucks’, which fits in the same drawer. An opinion you can have, but therefore not the opinion of a comapany with world wide customers and sponsors.

      1. @xtwl Two things: First, FIFA has actually set down in writing that it does not tolerate discrimination based on sexual orientation. If the FIA had done the same, I’m not so sure Lotus get away as easily with firing the guy (for that tweet, anyway). Second, If his tweet would have been an anti-racist one, for example, would you still feel that is an ‘opinion’ on the same order as saying that a politician sucks? This, to me, is exactly what @Girts was getting at. Homophobic legislation is simply gross because it violates basic human rights, yet somehow it’s more palatable than racist legislation, because many people still put it down to ‘opinion’. All big time sports need sponsors to operate, but as far as I’m concerned, Lotus’ actions in this case are a great demonstration of how utterly and pathetically F1 has become the high class prostitute of the sports world. Glitzy on the outside, will lick boots for a buck.

        1. @maciek It doesn’t matter what he posted on behalf of the company if it is not the company itself its position towards something. For that matter, slander is also illegal.

          I agree with you that being able to be homosexual should be a human right and I have nothing against the LGBT community but for me it has no place (for now) on a twitter feed of a racing team or the FIA.

          A racing team is and always will be a company and if employers don’t do what is being asked from them the company should be able to fire them. The FIA is not a union for people working in motorsport.

          I can only repeat myself. He posted something that wasn’t asked by Lotus. Maybe next time he would tweet something that would have bigger consequences for Lotus their sponsors.

          Lotus (The FIA or F1) is, in the end, not the front runner on LGBT human rights. Mind you, there are plenty of organisations doing their best to secure these rights.

          After all, it is not like the FIA, Lotus or any other party are homophobic in public.

    2. Absolutely. Well said, @Girts

    3. Indeed. Well said @girts

    4. Quite, that was a very eloquent comment. Sometimes even people of good faith need their spines stiffening, and that’s why it is helpful when organisations like the FIFA show what’s expected: it’s easier to behave well when everyone’s crystal clear what’s expected of them. I’m happy to condemn Lotus’ behaviour, which was cowardly and mercenary all in one, but I can well believe that they persuaded themselves it was justifiable (regardless of any legal stuff I can’t pronounce on). If the FIA showed leadership they’d not have had that wiggle-room.
      Excellent comment, @Girts!

  5. Agent Orange
    20th June 2014, 0:49

    They are bring sparks back to the cars?


    This is EXACTLY what F1 needs, more than anything else!

    as soon as I am done typing, I am going to fork out £600 a year for Sky sports, just so I can see every spark LIVE. I’ll probably buy a Grand Prix ticket or two. Hell why not three?


  6. Dear lord, the marshalls and medical car surely took their time before bothering to check on Ralf Schumacher after a nasty crash.

    1. From memory the Medical car which was positioned at pit exit had to drive round the whole track & there wasn’t a place in the wall to give the Marshall’s easy access to the track.

      The fencing on the outside of the track was built for the Indy 500 & since they don’t have flag posts or the need for marshals to climb through the fencing during the 500 the gaps in the fencing you see on other circuits for marshals to climb through were not there.

      The gaps that were in the outside fencing were barely big enough for the flags to be waved through & I seem to recall one been dropped onto the track one year as it got caught in the fence as it was been waved.

      It was similar on the inside fence, There were gaps for the pit boards but the one’s big enough for someone to fit through were further down towards the exit by the usual Indy 500 exit wall.

      The biggest issues for Ralf & what caused his injuries was that the safer barriers were again built for the oval so were not in place at the point he hit the wall as its not somewhere you will see a big hit on the oval. As such Ralf hit the concrete wall & the rear crash structures of F1 cars were not designed for that sort of impact since on the permanent circuits any concrete barriers had multiple layers of tyre barrier infront of them.

      1. I remember that incident well. Really just several more reasons to dislike the whole F1 Indy track setup of that time. A lousy infield part of the course, the oval part of the course was not well suited for F1 cars and very poor safety considerations overall.

        In my opinion, the much despised Tony George was more concerned with dollars and prestige over having a proper F1 venue for drivers or fans. Even though I’m a long time F1 fan and US citizen I was not sorry to see F1 exit Indy with the way things were.

    2. They sure did, just compare that to how quickly a medical car came out of nowhere in the Massa-Pérez crash in Canada.

    3. I was at that race. As time went on people in the stands started to get more and more upset at how long Ralf was left unattended. People were yelling to send out the safety car. When the ambulance finally picked him up, it pulled to the side to let the string of cars go first! A lot of people, including myself, were quite angry. In the Indy 500 sometimes safety crews could get to a crash literally within 60 seconds, but at the Grand Prix they were embarrassingly slow. We didn’t know how bad Ralf was, but we couldn’t understand why they left him unattended so long, and then didn’t make getting him to the medical centre their number one priority. Hell, the ambulance was going almost as fast as a safety car, so I have no idea why it pulled to the side and waited for the cars to go by. I still get mad when I think about it.

    4. I was at Belgium ’01 when Irvine and Burti crashed right in front of us. The marshalls got to Burti’s car after Irvine had run back to it and seemed to look at him, point to the car and shrug their shoulders as if to say “can’t have been that bad, you are out!” Eddie’s comments perhaps don’t bear repeating, but we could all her him referring to his ” car being down the road.” It was getting to the point where a number of the crowd had tried the fence to see if it could be climbed and then suddenly a marshall realised that Burti was still in the car and they started taking action, pretty much at the point the medical car arrived after leaving the pits.

      1. Wow.. Eddie already lost his friend Roland, as shown above, so he must have known Burti was in significant trouble straight away.

  7. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall)
    20th June 2014, 2:05

    Nice Twitter post. It’s a shame that ‘listening to the fans’ and common sense doesn’t matter that much to the people in power and then they wonder why we are disgruntled!

  8. If costs are capped to, say, 250M, does that mean Ferrari will have 100M+ to spend in WEC? What do budgets look like over there?

    1. It’s hard to say, since none of the major players will openly provide any information on how much they’re spending in the WEC.

      There were some reports in the French press that Peugeot were spending around €75 million a year when they were still competing (with Audi reportedly on about €55 million a year), whilst these days the indication is that Audi is now spending around €90 million a year.
      Whilst costs are not as high as in F1, there are some signs that there has been an acceleration in the development race over the past one or two years, which in turn is starting to push development budgets up.
      It’s part of the reason why Rebellion is the only privateer outfit left in the LMP1 class – they are the only ones who can afford to stay there. OAK Racing, who recently moved down into the LMP2 class, have been especially vocal about the ACO’s policy on the LMP1 class and bitterly complained that the ACO has sought to drive the privateers out of the class by making it too expensive to compete, therefore making it a manufacturer only class.

    2. @austus Ferrari have said they will do either LMP1 OR F1, not both. So I don’t think LMP1 is for any time soon.

      1. But they said that while spending 300-400M in F1. They already have a team running in one of the lower classes, dont they?

        1. There is a GTE team on Le Mans (AF Corse) who uses Ferrari cars for their racing team, but as far as I know, their relationship with Ferrari S.p.A. or the Scuderia Ferrari ends right there.

  9. ‘Sparks’ test set for Austria practice (Autosport)

    Now that’s what I call a part of the silly season. Give me a break!

  10. Spark boards? What court case is Bernie dealing with?

  11. Is Alonso really racing at lemans on monday @keithcollantine


    1. Who, Xabi Alonso?

  12. Chris (@tophercheese21)
    20th June 2014, 6:02

    I don’t get it.
    How does fitting a skid block in a different way to get sparks mean there is artificial sparks?

    It actually sounds like a pretty cool idea.

    1. They are trying to force sparks from the cars using artificial means. ow can that not be artificial??

  13. Instant COTD there, FIFA is using their ‘power’ to do something good for the world, so why wouldn’t FIA do the same?

    1. Why the eagerness to get FIA involved into something which isn’t even in its scope? Why this manifesting with the flags unfurled, why imposing? Just let them be, no need to come out and take under protection something that isn’t an issue in motorsport. FIFA had to react to the racism since it was happening inside the football fields and on the stands, so did FIA on its turn when glimpses of racism were manifested in motorsport.
      The acceptance of the gay community, should not be imposed by rules, rather calmly by the people itself.

      1. As a fully paid up member of the gay community, I think I probably agree with your post but I do see where @girts is coming from as well.
        I don’t think there any openly homosexual race drivers in any of the top echelons, are there? But if there were, and if some fans started to react badly, it would become an issue and the FIA might need to become involved.
        At the moment, I’m not convinced it is a problem and I’m not sure that the FIA need to take the sort of ‘positive action’ that Girts suggests.

      2. @caci_99 @timothykatz I believe that we are not talking only about drivers or other team members here. Gay F1 fans still suffer from discrimination in many countries, including at least six countries on F1 calendar. And it is also not like FIA is responsible only for motorsports.

        I agree that stopping homophobia is not and should not be among the main aims of the FIA. I also do not want FIA to support or condemn any politician, party or government. But it does not mean that they could not follow the example of several other international organisations and do more to fight discrimination. It does not necessarily mean refusing to race in undemocratic countries but the message should be expressed loud and clear: we promote diversity and will not tolerate any kind of discrimination.

        Unfortunately there are many people, who actively try to impose or maintain rules that make life of the LGBT community harder so I doubt if waiting for things to happen by themselves will help.

        1. Yes, I completely understand @girts.
          It’s about all non-heterosexuals, whether they are F1 fans or not. And I agree that every little bit of pressure from international bodies like the FIA helps to change things over time.

  14. FIFA doesn’t have that statute because they’re a responsible organisation with a sense of moral duty. They have it because at every match there are thousands of racists and violent hooligans who must be controlled by thousands of police officers.

  15. Nice post.

    BTW, does anyone have a link with high quality photos of Alonso trying the Ferrari 512 S at Le Mans ?

  16. Drivers not happy with banning tyre warmers on safety grounds, yet quite happy to have spark generators under a fuel tank.

    I’d agree with them but only if they fit twice as many at double point scoring rounds. Now that would make real sense.

  17. “It’s positive he feels that way, even for me. If he is feeling that way and I beat him anyway, that is even better for me”

    I’m supporting Nico this year but this comment from Lewis cracked me up. Gotta love the mind games in professional sport ;)

  18. I wonder if Alonso also wants to race in the WEC in Bahrain and China in November, with nobody watching.
    If it’s just Le Mans he wants to do, he could fit it into an F1 season. Plenty of drivers are combining it with GP2, or the Nürburgring 24h this weekend.

    1. I would have thought that his contract with Ferrari and his numerous sponsors would make it almost impossible for him to take part in such a high profile event

  19. The Toyota 94C-V that Irvine drove in that stunning last lap at Le Mans in ’94 is kept in the Le Mans museum. As far as I could tell when I saw the car last week, it’s still (at least partially) race-dirty.

    And it’s shuddering to think that two of the four names on that car were taken away from this world in such violent and sudden ways, Roland in that accident in ’94, Jeff Krosnoff in a horrendous crash in CART in Toronto in ’96.

  20. I would like to thank KC for the COTD as well as everyone, who has commented on it. It is great that we can have a thoughtful discussion on such a sensitive topic here. I am also very thankful to all the straight fans, who support the LGBT community as it is not always easy to accept other people’s differences.

    1. Well said.

  21. Birthday wish from F1Fanatic is awesome,THANK YOU!

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