Fernando Alonso, Toyota, World Endurance Championship, Spa, 2018

Winning Le Mans wouldn’t affect Alonso’s decision on F1 future

World Endurance Championship

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Fernando Alonso says winning the Le Mans 24 Hours wouldn’t made a difference to his future in Formula 1.

Alonso is contesting the race for the first time with Toyota, who are considered clear favourites to win the race.

Asked last weekend whether winning the race would affect his chances of racing in the 2019 F1 season, Alonso said “probably not.”

“But obviously I didn’t think too much yet because first I need to be at Le Mans and see how it goes,” he added.

McLaren is known to be looking at a move into IndyCar next year but Alonso played down speculation he could be part of the project.

“For the IndyCar I know the team is looking at the options there but it is just a McLaren decision and a McLaren commitment because the importance of North America, the market and the strategic decisions. So it’s not for me to be involved in that.”

While Alonso has been critical of how predictable F1 has become in recent seasons, he is open to continuing in the championship. “I think Formula One is OK as it is,” he said. “I have nothing against it.”

“I’ve been here 18 years because I love Formula One and I continue here because I enjoy this category,” he added.

“Probably until a couple of years ago I was so focused on F1 I didn’t see other series and other categories. Now that I see them you go back to what it should be in a way, if you have a good day you are P1. If you have a bad day or mistake you are P4. [In F1] you are P7 if you have a good day or bad day.”

This weekend’s race is Alonso’s second of five in consecutive weekends. Alonso said it’s important to conserve his energy wherever possible between weekends.

“Especially the races in Europe, you need travel with a small plane and try to get to the closest airport to the track and be as comfortable as possible. If we have races like Canada and you take commercial flights, try to hope that there is not delay or cancellation or anything like that.

“Make sure you are fit and relax as much as you can. Every half an hour every half a day that you are free with no commitments, back to the hotel and get some sleep and relax a little bit. Not much training, it’s just about getting used to the time zones and not getting too stressed about the off-track activities.”

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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...
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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25 comments on “Winning Le Mans wouldn’t affect Alonso’s decision on F1 future”

  1. I think Alonso never cared for Indy, just the 500.

    1. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
      15th June 2018, 10:19

      If he isn’t going to get competitive F1 machinery, he may as well do the whole season though, nothing to lose.
      It’s unlikely McLaren wouldn’t get the Andretti partnership again if they were to jump in full time. Better to take an Andretti or Penske seat proper I reckon

  2. Alonso can’t win Le-mans. He can only embarrass himself by not winning it.

    Toyota is the only car that can win this race and their second car is 2 seconds slower in qualifying… Frankly, it’s pathetic that they are even calling it a race. This should be a win on Alonso’s resume with a mega asterisk next to it.

    1. @jeffreyj So no different to any of Hamilton’s wins in 2014-2016 then? A car which is so much quicker, and with a far less-talented teammate next to you. In both instances, what did you want Alonso/Hamilton to do? Purposely request a slower car?

      1. @mashiat Those are two entirely different discussions. What makes you think that I’m framing this as an F1>WEC or Hamilton > Alonso argument?! I haven’t even mentioned them…. You’re basically talking to yourself bruh.

        But if you must, there are indeed some differences. Rosberg wasn’t 2 seconds slower in the team’s second car. We saw some serious racing from the two. Remember Bahrain 2014, Spain 2014 and 2015 and just the overall title fights ending with 2 titles for HAM and 1 for ROS? Those were stale F1 seasons overall because Merc was so much better than the rest and Hamilton was generally quicker than Rosberg, but at least the two Merc cars were racing each other. Something that can’t really be said of the two Toyota cars in this year’s Le-Mans.

    2. The other car was faster at Spa but was put a lap behind for technical infringement. Alonso’s car also had a dodg:y gearbox.
      This is probably harder than it was for Lewis to beat Rosberg. Who had a bigger advantage than Toyota does to the privateers.

      1. This is probably harder than it was for Lewis to beat Rosberg

        I respectfully disagree. When the team’s other car is 2 seconds slower than your’s and the rest of the competition is even slower, you’re basically driving against yourself and reliability. That’s not racing imho.

        1. At Spa the other car was faster. but your ‘2 sec gap’ at Le Mans is not a fixed thing unless your claiming like the other gossipers Toyota have it rigged. . We saw the other car gain a lap through safety cars. Alonso has a 50/50 chance at best. The car will probably break down or he’ll have an off at night time. You no nothing about Le Mans if you think this is easier than driving an F1 Merc

          1. *you’re and *know

    3. @jeffrey
      Why should he be embarrased when the other 5 drivers at Toyota are more experienced and the ones posting the pole times?
      Any one who knows Le Mans will be envious he gets to drive there at all. Can’t the man enjoy himself without journalists and fans looking for a fall guy?
      These negative Alonso articles and comments always appear when Hamilton is not driving well. Andrew Benson has been working over-time on the BBC. The idiot asking Toyota if they have fixed the race in Alonso’s favour.

    4. @jeffrey
      Why should he be embarrased when the other 5 drivers at Toyota are more experienced and the ones posting the pole times?
      Any one who knows Le Mans will be envious he gets to drive there at all. Can’t the man enjoy himself without journalists and fans looking for a fall guy?
      These negative Alonso articles and comments always appear when Hamilton is not driving well. Andrew Benson has been working over-time on the BBC. The fo0l asking Toyota if they have fixed the race in Alonso’s favour, then bragging about it on twitter.

      1. These negative Alonso articles and comments always appear when Hamilton is not driving well.

        I’m Dutch, have been following F1 since the early 90’s and my favorite current F1 drivers are Alonso and Ricciardo. This has nothing to do with Hamilton or nationalistic bias for me. I couldn’t care less about that. For me, this is purely about the (lack of) competition.

        1. Let’s study all of Le Mans wins then. There have been drivers getting themselves seats in dead- cert cars since the 1960s.
          Was Hulkenberg’s win more credible. in the 5th fastest car in 2015? Almost 2 seconds slower in qually and 1 second slower in race fastest laps.

          ominant chance with Porsche

          1. In 2015 there was 2 Porsche’s and 2 Toyota’s capable of winning. Winning that year is by default more impressive than winning in 2018 where it’s only Porsche. I don’t know how else to say this.

    5. @jeffreyj

      “Yesterday we drove our qualification mode. It is not really something we can do over many laps, we can do only one time,” Buemi told Crash.net.

      “In terms of gaps, in qualy, it’s a bit bigger than it actually is in real life. In real life, we are more with what we’ve seen in practice or at the test day, less than a second.

      “Less than a second around a lap like this, it’s not much. If we have a problem and we stay 20 minutes in the garage, and one guy has no problems, he wins.”

      Asked if the challenge facing Toyota was being underestimated, Buemi said: “Of course, it’s completely underestimated.

      “Everyone thinks it’s only Toyota’s race to lose. On paper, it is. But to be honest, to win that race, even when Audi was coming here for five or six years without anyone, it’s not so easy. We have two cars. Anything can happen.

      “In practice you saw how many people went off, everywhere, every five minutes there is a slow zone. One guy goes off and hits you, what can you do? The race could be over, and that’s it.”

      https://www.crash.net/le-mans/news/898240/1/buemi-expects-toyotas-le-mans-advantage-shrink

      1. @bigjoe So basically he’s saying there is a chance of accidents or reliability problems…. hasn’t that been my whole point, the whole time?!! He’s also saying they messed up, relative to the other car, in quali…I guess? Still, even a .5 to a 1’s is quite a margin and the other Toyota messing up qually isn’t making things more difficult for Alonso…

  3. SparkyAMG (@)
    15th June 2018, 12:20

    In other words, he’s already decided on his future.

    I think he’ll take one last stab at getting a seat at Mercedes or Red Bull but if he’s not successful he’ll be off to pursue other categories where he can actually compete for wins. Mclaren have proved they can’t cut it with the top three and they’re out of excuses now.

  4. Firstly, Alonso is a Le Mans rookie. It will be embarrassing only if he is remarkably slower than his team mates (nothing suggests that is going to be the case) or makes a stupid error and crashes. Secondly, minor issues will still most probably happen. Believe me, if #8 runs into trouble and loses even only one lap because of that, #7 will not stop and wait until ‘team Alonso’ gets past again.

    As Motorsport Magazine put it, “it has been nearly 90 years since the identity of the winning Le Mans team seemed less in doubt than it is today.” But this is still Le Mans and we are also talking about a dominant team, not one dominant car.

  5. @girts

    makes a stupid error and crashes (…) if #8 runs into trouble and loses even only one lap because of that, #7 will not stop and wait (…) As Motorsport Magazine put it, “it has been nearly 90 years since the identity of the winning Le Mans team seemed less in doubt than it is today.”

    You’re basically proving my point, Alonso’s team is driving against itself and reliability. That’s not racing IMHO.

    1. @jeffreyj, in which case, you could write off a large number of victors at Le Mans because they were “driving against themselves and reliability”, such as the victories that Audi took with the R8.

      1. The early to mid ’00 was pretty much Audi or nothing. They did have 3 cars most of those years though, so that’s a bit more competition than it is today for Toyota. But overall I agree.

      2. At least they were actually driving against other cars of the same team.

        In this case it very much looks like the second car is being held back on purpose.

  6. I’ve been fallowing f1 since 2011… this is the first legit smile I’ve seen on Alonso…

  7. Is time to move along alonso, good bye!

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