Fernando Alonso, 2019

Alonso hints at rally move: “The aim is to do something unprecedented”

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Fernando Alonso has indicated he is considering a future move into rallying following his victory in yesterday’s Daytona 24 Hours.

The two-times Formula 1 driver shared victory with his Wayne Taylor Racing team mates Kamui Kobayashi, Renger van der Zande and Jordan Taylor.

Alonso has set himself the target of winning the motor racing ‘Triple Crown’, which he will do if he wins the Indianapolis 500 in May. Speaking after his Daytona win Alonso said he is already beginning to think about tackling other events.

“This is not part of the Triple Crown, but if I win Indianapolis, this will be Quadruple Crown,” he told Agence France-Presse. “Right now, full focus is on the Indy 500.

“I’m thinking I’m trying to do something more maybe in different disciplines that are not only circuits,” he added.

The Dakar Rally, a two-week-long event which covers nearly nine thousand kilometres, could be one of the events he is considering. Nasser Al-Attiyah, who scored his third win in the race earlier this month, said Alonso is planning to test his Toyota Hilux later this year.

Alonso drives for Toyota in the World Endurance Championship. However there has been no official confirmation of any plans for him to test the car.

Alonso said he will only consider entering events where he can be competitive.

“I need to think, I need to plan, I need to make sure that I’m competitive, to have the right people, the right teams, and the right preparations,” he said. “Whatever adventure is next, I will not do it if I’m not competitive or I don’t have a shot for winning.

“The aim is to do something unprecedented in motorsport.”

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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...

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  • 43 comments on “Alonso hints at rally move: “The aim is to do something unprecedented””

    1. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
      28th January 2019, 22:49

      If he does manage to emulate Graham Hill and win the triple crown, the Dakar would just be more icing on an overdecorated 4 wheeled cake.
      If he really wants a challenge worthy of the legend he is in his own mind, John Surtees’ record of world titles on both two wheels and four beckons also

      1. Surtees’ one would be interesting, but I think it’s already too late, he still has a few years till he’s 40, but he still needs to get experience there, would be hard, the only chance is getting the top team and immediately.

    2. Was there anyone sucessful in both rallying and formula racing? talking about maybe wins both ways? or podiums?

      I can’t see even the likes of Alonso going into rallying and being competitive enough to win a rally. It’s such a different set of skills required, and the guys rallying have been doing it all their lives. I rate rally drivers as the most skilled drivers in motorsport, by quite a while, being able to adapt to new challenges constantly, driving at speeds that are hard to understand logically…

      Even the Dakar, it’s so difficult and you have the Nani Romas, the Peterhansels, guys who’ve been doing the Dakar for so so long.

      I wish him good luck tho! I like the idea of him trying different series because it gives them the media coverage they deserve. Watching the news today and seeing them talking about Daytona?! it was probably a first in spanish tv news channel!

      1. Well, just after I clicked “Post Comment” I remembered when Kimi went rallying, he was the 2nd F1 driver to score points after Reutemann. A quick search showed that Lole scored two podiums in the WRC round in Argentina in 1980 and 1985. I guess Kubica was the 3rd F1 guy to score in WRC too. So yeah, not many people have done it and even less people have been even midly sucessful.

        1. Very weird, I think you’re right, it’s nigh impossible to be successful at rally if you’ve been a f1 driver (even top) for most of your career.

      2. Winning a wrc rally would never be possible indeed.
        Neuville, Ogier and Tanak are at such a high level, it won’t be achievable.

        But Alonso is making a nice path for himself.
        The Indy 500 will be great fun to watch once again!

        1. Jeffrey Powell
          29th January 2019, 5:06

          Not quite as hard as you say WRC is a very restricted field because of the lack of manufacturer teams. Drivers out of your favoured three have won recently and whilst not a total Alonso fan the problem would be commitment and getting 100% support from a works team . Dakar is easier no finesse required just 200% commitment and loads of luck, much easier to get factory support as it has much higher media attention than WRC.

          1. dont forget that toyota has a WRC team though…

        2. @solidg Indeed. The trio you mentioned seems to be unstoppable for the rest at the moment, as well as, last year, so for FA, it’d indeed also be impossible to beat any of these three on pure pace especially Tanak who was the outright fastest driver for most of last season, and therefore, would’ve probably won the WDC had it not been for the number of points lost due to bad luck and errors, and the same with the recent Rally Monte Carlo had it not been for the puncture on day one.

          1. @ jerejj @solidg I really really like rallying and i do have loads of respect but i am not sure i can agree with your points about the high level of the top rallye drivers. The thing that bugs me is that after Loeb completely dominated proceedings for years the very moment he left the sport another driver picked up where he left off and oblitereated everyone. For me this could (could. as in not necessarily but possibly.) point to a situation where, due to the relatively niche nature of the sport, the level is actually not that high (as in, yes it is very high but it is not yet at the level of f1 where drivers like Verstappen are trained from birth to get their line right by milimeters for hundereds of laps on end) and that is why either talent or a more professional approach by Loeb/Ogier/etc can still make a huge difference to the rest of the field. However the overall level (according to this my theory, which is mine, ..) is not *that* high because not everyone is doing it on the top drivers level yet and so the actual top dogs aren’t yet pushed to go even further. ……am i making any sense? it sounds very smart in my head

            1. screwed the @jerejj tag

            2. @mrboerns Also since retiring from competing in WRC full-time, Loeb has still been able to fight for relatively high positions against drivers who’ve competed full-time all the seasons since he initially left at the end of 2012.

      3. Jeffrey Powell
        29th January 2019, 4:52

        Jim Clark showed he had the speed in the RAC rally but this was a one of and he was of course driving a Lotus Cortina in which he had proved brilliant in Saloon Car racing. As an all round supreme talent he stood head and shoulders above all other drivers of his era . Jackie Stewart agrees with me so it must be true…..!

        1. Well Kubica won one stage in Monte Carlo couple years back (I think it was the opening stage of the rally) and he has also done quite well in F1

      4. Kubica won the WRC2 title, an ERC race, a handful of national rallies and 15 WRC stages. This was all after his serious rally accident, so was driving what some say is one handed.
        Kimi Raikkonen won 1 WRC stage in 2 years.

        1. Also Kubica did the WRC stage wins in a privateer car, while Raikonnen had factory backing. Kubica is the real deal in rally, a couple more years experience and in a factory car, he could be fighting for the WRC title. he won WRC2 at first go against career rally drivers, usually very easily, and led every ERC race he entered (4 I think). Also he often led by over a minute very easily when competing in a WRC car in Italian national rallies… compare that to Bottas who couldn’t beat R5 cars in a WRC car in his first go last week.

          One last thing, because I followed Kubica’s rallying, he beat every competitor at the annual Monza rally masters, here he beats Valentino Rossi (who enters annually, and has a modified WRC car with 60 more hp):
          watch this if you need convincing that Kubica wont be able to drive the Monaco hairpin.

          1. Im sorry but if you look more closely on the stats from Raikkonens two full wrc season compared to Kubicas three and dont count stage wins, you will notice that Kimi got more points, placed higher in the Championship and both had a best finish in 5th.

            Also if you take a look at the the drivers who entered a full wrc2 season in 2013, you will understand why kubica won. And trust me when I say I like Kubica and Im more than happy that he is back in F1 this year but saying he would have been fighting for the wrc title is just and insult to the top drivers in wrc.

            Finally, I dont Think doing a handbrake turn in a rally car has anything to do with driving the Monaco hairpin.

            1. Yep I knew someone would discount my post… In wrc2 he was up against people that were supposed to be easily better than him in rallying. kubica finished 5th in a wrc event… In a wrc2 car. and you are correct, handbrake turns in wrc events on all different surfaces with only pace notes are much harder than the one turn at Monaco that you do 120 times the same in one weekend.. No comparison!

    3. Regrettably Alonso is exhibiting classic diversionary desire.
      He wanted another F1 title – felt that he was ‘owed’ it – and when it proved unreachable, he has gone off in search of other prizes that will reinforce his self-opinion of worth.
      Don’t get me wrong! I think he’s worth it, and I support his every move. After all, he’s one of the premier drivers of the last thirty years. But what he is doing is seeking every trophy and prize in motorsport that he can grasp in the belief that they will make up for the missing third F1 title and show him to be the best multi-discipline driver.
      Will it make him happy?

      1. @nickwyatt

        Will it make him happy?

        Probably not. That’s what the millions of dollars are for. To provide a consolation prize.

        However, until he claims a MotoGP, NASCAR and a FE championship how can we be sure he’s the best of the best?

        1. @jimmi-cynic– I think it was Liberace who said “I cried all the way to the bank” or something like that. Certainly the millions of dollars will help, but Alonso will not sleep contentedly until he has proved his worth to the world – and to himself.

      2. @nickwyatt well, what if it does make him happy? I remember Lewis saying something like once he leaves F1, he’s not going to do any driving again. He’d probably go into DJ or fashion design, because that’d probably make him happy.

        Maybe it’s ego as you say, but to be honest, I like to think that the guy is doing what he wants. He couldn’t get a car necessary to fight for a F1 title, so he set himself a different challenge. It’s like Federer, why is he still going? he’s won everything, and he’s quite old for a tennis player. Why is he still playing? Why is Serena Williams still playing at the top? do they really need another Grand Slam? well, they probably just love it so much they cannot stop. I doubt it’s about the money, they have plenty…

    4. I’d like to see him in rallycross, but we all know he won’t be able to compete there, the good thing about RX though is with all the heats you still get to win races and feel competitive, even if you’re not the best. Less chance of falling off a cliff or driving into something dangerous at least there compared to rally.

      1. but no one considers rally cross as elite motorsport, you had f1 drivers like Villeneuve and Kovolainen there and no one cared. also the races are too short. to me it reminds me of those American dirt stock car racing. Real rallying…. or, Id rather see him in something like a triathlon or cycling championship. Kubica just did 26 hours cycling in Tenerife, he showed on instagram. Some of these drivers (Alonso included) take Cycling really serious, Alonso has his own team even, would be cool if he did something like that. Zanardi did that remember and it was popular.

      2. FlyingLobster27
        29th January 2019, 14:47

        I’d say now’s the perfect time for Alonso to go to rallycross @skipgamer : there’s no-one there! All the manufacturers have withdrawn their factory teams, there’s no Loeb, no Ekström, no Kristoffersson… There are only three drivers confirmed at the moment, the best-known being Timo Scheider. The championship looks to be in a sticky situation and could do with a star to squee over and attract an audience. It would be like WEC all over again!

    5. Hopefully we’ll see him contest the 1000 here in Bathurst.

      Would love to see him (and maybe Mark Webber as suggested in a post yesterday) muscling one of the V8’s around the mountain.

      As long as he had a competitive car I’m sure he’d be brilliant.

      1. Big ticket co-driver for the championship.

      2. I think Alonso still wants the thrill of speed, hence IndyCar/prototype sports cars. and supercars don’t really offer that. Rallying is less power, but faster accerelation and fast feel, but more importantly “world champion” status can be reached that supercars don’t have. its a nice thought though.

    6. Alonso, just like most other racers, love it and probably cant live without it! For most of these racers, F1 is the ultimate buzz, unless you’re a rally driver of course. Fernando is as quick as he’s ever been, so why not?

      By some dumb luck, if Mclaren end up with a quick car, don’t be surprised if he’s back on the grid.

    7. If alonso can pull off a COMPETITIVE Le mans/Wec Championship….grab indy, or even a championship, grab a rally champ…..maybe pikes peak…….do some dakar – and win……..then there will be no question about his name amongst the gods – and will be remembered for decades. short of that……he is a two time champ whose curious persona has created enemies amongst the scribes.

      i hope he does them all and wins, because id love a character like alonso to be remembered. He has a gravitas, and if he devotes his time to fostering young talent then any past indiscretions will be forgiven and they will write a new book in the bible of motorsport.

      also…..im glad lewis beat him lol

      1. but he didn’t really, he finished same amount of points in that season and arguably Alonso was a better driver in 2010-13, best in F1, after that their positions were decided by which car they were in.

    8. I think Alonso can definitely prove himself as the best circuit racer if he continues what he’s doing now.

      Indy 500
      Sebring 12hr
      Nurburgring 24hr

      Any additional recommendations?

      As for rallying I think asphalt rallies might give him some chance in being successful, rally Monte Carlo comes to mind

      1. Dakar,

      2. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
        29th January 2019, 13:02

        Daytona 500
        Pikes Peak

    9. In Alonso’s point of view – ” Shut up and drive”, would be totally unprecedented!

    10. Unprecedented does not mean what he thinks it means, clearly.
      Is he just surrounded by yes men?

      1. @falken Who else has won the races he’s thinking about across these categories? Unprecedented just means it’s not been done before and I can’t remember the last person to win each of the most prestigious races.

    11. Indy 500, maybe Indy champion aswell, those would be great.

      Bathurst 500?

      Daytona 500? :D

      Moto GP should be out of the question, very dangerous, highlly specialised.

      WRC champion?

    12. Basically, I think he’s going to have a crack at winning every major race/championship on 4 wheels there is, which means he is going for:

      F1 world champion
      Monaco Grand Prix winner
      Indy 500 winner
      Le Mans 24 hour winner
      WEC world champion
      Daytona 24 hour champion
      Monaco Rally Champion
      Dakar Rally winner
      Bathurst winner

      A full tilt run at the WRC crown is a bit too far a jump I think given how competitive it is at the moment and how different a skillset rallying is, but winning an iconic tarmac rally would possibly be achievable for someone as good as Alonso. Dakar is Dakar, the right car, good preparation and a bit of luck, he could probably do it. After he has done all that, the only other major race I can think of on 4 wheels worth winning is Bathurst, unless he seriously upsets the apple cart by having a crack at the BTCC and the Macau and Pau F3 races. :)

      1. Then there is Formula E.

    13. Sounds like he’s chasing his own tail

      1. I’d’ve thought switching from circuit racing to point-to-point is the exact opposite of that…

        1. What he’s doing reeks of desperation. He’s trying to make up for what many believe was a somewhat disappointing F1 career. He was air-marked as the Schumacher’s replacement and the man that would come closest to challenging his records, but instead he left the sport with only 2 titles and a string of controversy.

          He has been overshadowed by both Lewis and Seb, so the only for him to out do both men, is to chase something that at first he had no interest in.

          He said that to be considered as the greatest ever, you have to win in other series. That’s not true, because winning the triple crown and anything else he feels will help that chase, none will supersede his 2 F1 titles.

          That’s what I meant

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