Alonso running at “99%” as he begins packed 11 weeks of F1 and WEC

2018 F1 season

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Fernando Alonso said he is conserving his energy levels as he enters a gruelling 11-week spell of his dual F1 and WEC campaign.

The McLaren and Toyota driver will make his World Endurance Championship debut in this weekend’s Six Hours of Spa in Belgium. He is beginning preparations to race in the Le Mans 24 Hours, which takes place one week before a triple-header of F1 races.

By the end of that, Alonso will have spent all bar one of 11 consecutive weekends driving an F1 or LMP1 racing car. During last weekend’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix he described himself as being “in saving energy mode every day.”

Alonso said he is trying to “think two weeks ahead” to ensure he is at his best for each event.

“I want to be a hundred percent on Sunday, I need to be a hundred percent next Sunday in Spain, I need to be a hundred percent at Le Mans. So it’s definitely a very tight calculation of the training programme, how you fly, how you rest, which planes you take and what food you eat. You try to be on the average level always 99% and not be peaky this year.”

Alonso’s packed 11 weeks

Dates Event
27-29 April F1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix
4-5 May WEC Six Hours of Spa
12-13 May F1 Spanish Grand Prix
19-20 May No race
24-27 May F1 Monaco Grand Prix
3 June WEC Le Mans 24 Hours test
8-10 June F1 Canadian Grand Prix
13-17 June WEC Le Mans 24 Hours
22-24 June F1 French Grand Prix
29 June – 1 July F1 Austrian Grand Prix
6-8 July F1 British Grand Prix

Alonso, who raced in the Indianapolis 500 last year, believes competing outside F1 in other top-level series will make him a better driver.

“Sometimes here in Formula One you live in a very small world. You think that winning here or being with three pole positions or seven pole positions put you in a better level or you are better than other drivers.

“I think motor sport in general is a very big world. There are very talented drivers in go karts, in Formula Three, in [Super] Formula, in WEC, in Indy. It’s very challenging if you want to beat all of them.

“If you want to beat all of them in Formula One it’s very small group. Normally your car helps to beat the slowest car and your car will not allow you to beat the quickest cars. So it’s not a fair comparison. I think doing Indy or WEC, other races, I challenge myself much more and you become a better driver.”

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Pictures: Alonso at the Six Hours of Spa

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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...
Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...

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  • 32 comments on “Alonso running at “99%” as he begins packed 11 weeks of F1 and WEC”

    1. Best luck for the crazy campaign.

    2. Didn’t knew WEC was a spec series

      1. @johnmilk It is about ‘beating the quickest cars’, which is apparently possible in the WEC. In other words, Alonso’s sheer talent and determination will be enough to beat the dominant ByKolles and Rebellion cars in the underperforming Toyota.

        1. arghhh LMP2 engine! LMP2! arghhh

          1. I like it :)
            I hope he does well, going to a tough schedule but is anyone can do it he can, but his language still makes me think he will leave F1 at the end of this year.

        2. Basil (@flyingbasil)
          3rd May 2018, 13:21

          except Toyota can run circles around everyone….

          1. @flyingbasil you will find it to be sarcasm

            1. @johnmilk @flyingbasil @girts

              Missing the point that Alonso still said he is going to find it ‘challenging’ especially as he wasn’t and probably wont be Toyota’s quickest driver.

    3. He’s mad for doing it, but I like it. It must be so stressful with all the flights and stuff…

    4. Good luck to Alonso. I would like to see more top drivers from across motor sport race against each other.

    5. The thing with Alonso is the following; if your team sucks like u say, month after month, year after year. If your team is poor and needs lot of work, u should be working double hard in your “free time”, doing extra hours in the simulator. Working with the technicians in the factory, giving all the details of whats not good in the car. Not doing “hobby” racing when u aren’t an f1 retired driver. U should be working hard. And like Felipe Massa said when u leaved Ferrari, he revealed u didn’t use the simulator in all that 5 years in Ferrari, Ferrari had to hire De la Rosa to do the testing and simulator sessions FA was missing. This speaks for itself, do your homework, dont be a lazy star that only complains in press conferences or with friendly media.

      1. You sound misinformed and biased.

      2. Alonso had a simulator at home while he was during for Ferrari… don’t know where you got that info from, seems erroneous.

      3. Utter bs. You could have just said “I hate Alonso” and that would have conveyed the same message without misleading information

      4. petebaldwin (@)
        3rd May 2018, 20:48

        To be fair to him, Massa did comment that Alonso wasn’t in the sim in 2013. The quote was:

        “Last year I worked on the development of the car, and in the simulator I was practically the only driver, because Alonso wasn’t there.”

        It’s a translation from Portuguese apparently though so I don’t know how accurate the translation was. Anyone speak Portuguese? Here’s the original:

        I understand the point that competing in all these races could have an effect on his performances in F1 but I imagine it was agreed when he signed his new contract. McLaren had the option to go with someone else but chose to keep Alonso on his terms.

        1. @petebaldwin that translation is accurate

        2. Well, where do I start.
          First of all, Ferrari never got their simulator to work the years Alonso was with them – PATHETIC!
          It was so bad they had to use Toyota’s old simulator to get more accurate data.
          I guess Felipe didn’t mention that!

        3. @peterbaldwin also, Massa was a “complaining machine” when in F1.
          In his own world, everybody else were not doing their job properly but him. I don’t remember of him praising anyone rather than Michael Schumacher. All the rest were just criticism either by racing incidents or personal life such as Alonso racing on Indy 500 or Hamilton lifestyle…
          I wouldn’t take his comments 100% into account in this case.

      5. This is actually a good thing, because it keeps him sharp.
        Since in-season testing was banned in 2009, F1 drivers have had too much free time on their hands and have lost the opportunity to “practice”/refine their kraft.

        Remember one of the factors that made Nico Rosberg so effective in 2016 and enabled him to compete more closely with and beat (yes, beat) Lewis Hamilton, was the fact that he went back to karting regularly in between races.

        Committing to 2 competitive racing series was always going put a heavy toll on Alonso. But the experience will only make him a lesser driver if his priorities aren’t straight, and if he’s not focused on racing. But otherwise expanding his field of competition, will actually make him an even better (more complete) racer than he already is.

    6. And there wil be at least a radio rant in all of his weeks.

      1. With one 24 hour ranting endurance week.

        1. @ruliemaulana with Maldonado competing, there is sure to be a lot of entertaining radio messages ahead :)

    7. Vettel fan 17 (@)
      3rd May 2018, 16:09

      Have to admire Alonso for competing in all those races. Endurance racing on its one must be very draining, throw in F1 and it takes some superhuman strength.

    8. 100 bucks he gets better results in WEC.

    9. I’m knackered just thinking about his schedule. When I was his age I was out of breath after 10 minutes in a F100 Kart, I found five a side football easier.

    10. Correction to my earlier post. Alonso has set the fastest time in FP1

    11. Hats off to the last samurai of F1.

    12. That cheeky comment responding to the 99% that Vandoorne was talking about :-)

    13. Webber fan
      4th May 2018, 5:09

      I don’t understand the infatuation with Alonso. If it wasn’t for Michelin tyres he may never have won a F1 World Driver’s Championship.

      1. You seem intelligent.

    14. Without testing in F1, I wouldn’t be surprised if his driving will improve after this double commitment…if this happens, maybe other drivers will follow…

    15. Given he’s sharing the car with two other driver I don’t think he’ll be that knackered. Le Mans excepted of course …

    Comments are closed.