Fernando Alonso, Toyota Hilux Dakar test, 2019

Alonso to train on three continents for 2020 Dakar

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Fernando Alonso will undergo an extensive training programme for the 2020 Dakar Rally with Toyota, but has not yet confirmed he will participate in the event.

The two-times Formula 1 world champion will hone his rally raid skills in Europe, Africa and the Middle East ahead of the January event, which will take place for the first time in Saudi Arabia.

Alonso previously tested Toyota’s Hilux machine in March and will spend the next five months familiarising himself with the car. His testing programme starts today, the Japanese manufacturer has confirmed.

As part of his training Alonso will participate in the fifth round of South Africa’s Cross-Country Series, the Harrismith 400. Toyota describe his entry as a “non-competitive first outing”.

“I got a taste of off-road rallying earlier this year and it left me with a good feeling that I want to prolong,” said Alonso.

“I knew it would be a totally different experience with a steep learning curve but the Hilux just felt great. It gave me so much confidence so quickly and I was improving loop after loop.

“I’m really looking forward to the next few months of training, getting to know the Hilux and working with the team. I’ve always maintained I want to pursue new challenges in different disciplines and I’m at a great team to do that.”

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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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16 comments on “Alonso to train on three continents for 2020 Dakar”

  1. I didn’t think he would go to RBR for two reasons. First Honda would not be happy. Second, I don’t think he would want to go up against Max. He has too much to loose, his reputation. Having been out of a competitive car for so long. He could be shown up by Max.

  2. So no full time entry to Indy 500 next year.

    1. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
      20th August 2019, 13:13

      Dakar happens in winter so he could still do a full Indy run

  3. Max respect for Fernando, trying to do something different.

    A couple of things have to be pinpointed, though.
    He “wants to pursue new challenges” because he wasn’t able to win the old ones.
    And, even if his talent couldn’t be denied, he has never been the best driver in the world. Never. Plus, his great driving skills clearly couldn’t make up for his bad attitude and behavioural problems.

    1. So 2005 & 06 he wasn’t the best driver in the world? or 2012?

      If being the best driver in F1 also means world then yes he was.

      1. No, he wasn’t.
        Michael Schumacher was.

        1. Hahaha. Right….

          Whats the next comical statement

    2. And, even if his talent couldn’t be denied, he has never been the best driver in the world”

      Thanks for sharing your expertise. Silly me believed his peers, past and present who claim the opposite.

      1. @Mikes
        His peers?
        You mean, Hamilton h@ters?

  4. Do no forget that alonso has won 2 WC with ferrari, according to the proper ranking of pilots, ie the 10/6/4/3/2/1 point system. That’s 4 championships in total. Alonso has nothing to prove to anybody.

    1. “Proper ranking”? This points system fits your narrative, that’s all; it’s neither proper nor improper. You could also rewrite history by applying today’s point system to past results.

    2. I really doubt he would have won 2012 on the 10/6/4 points system. He won just 3 races. and that point system provides higher weightage to wins.

    3. Why exactly is that the proper system? Why not the 9/6/4/3/2/1 and only count the 11 best results like in the 80s?

      Funnily enough, with the 10/6/4 points system, Senna would have 2 WDC instead of 3.

  5. I don’t see any competitive point with Dakar. Apart from the experience and enjoyment there’s not much.
    The Toyota won because of Nasser Alatiyah’s sublime driving.

    1. What? So the best driver won… isn’t that what we want?

  6. Driving the car is about 25% of what is needed to win.

    The navigator is another 25%.

    The Team is 25%.

    Having the right French LAWYERS is the last 25%

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