Fernando Alonso, Alpine, Hungaroring, 2021

Alonso to demo Alpine F1 car ahead of Le Mans 24 Hours

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In the round-up: The build up to this weekend’s Le Mans 24 Hours will feature two-time winner Fernando Alonso driving an Alpine-liveried F1 car.

In brief

Alonso to demo Alpine F1 car at Le Mans

This weekend’s Le Mans 24 Hours will include a special parade of Alpine cars as part of the pre-race ceremonies, including Fernando Alonso driving a F1 car.

Le Mans organisers revealed that the French marque will be celebrated before the race with a special parade including Esteban Ocon in an Alpine A110 GT4 car.

Alonso is a two-time winner of the Le Mans 24 Hours, having won both the 2018 and 2019 editions of the famous endurance race for Toyota, alongside Kazuki Nakajima and Sebastien Buemi. Alpine won their first ever grand prix under the name of the French manufacturer when Esteban Ocon took a stunning victory at the Hungarian Grand Prix prior to the summer break.

Norris and Ricciardo both keen to race Indy 500 in future – Brown

McLaren CEO Zak Brown says that both McLaren F1 drivers, Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo, have a desire to compete in the Indy 500 at some stage in their careers.

“They’d both like to do it but they’re very focussed on Formula 1,” says Brown. With McLaren recently increasing their stake in their McLaren SP IndyCar team, Brown notes that the team has a unique connection to IndyCar out of the current F1 teams.

“I think it’s exciting, the Formula 1 paddock really enjoys IndyCar. I know the IndyCar paddock very much enjoys Formula 1. So I think that’s something that’s unique for our racing team. So nothing in the immediate future. But we’ll see.”

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Comment of the day

How should Formula 1’s commercial rights holders, Liberty Media, resolve the fluidity and uncertainty over the final races on this season’s calendar? Phil Norman believes the sport may have to give up on its 23 race target for this season.

I think Liberty are doing their best with the calendar taking into account there is still so much that is potentially subject to change. The delay and uncertainty in decisions on individual races is only to be expected really I think.

I am not sure there is much else Liberty can do. However, I feel they do need to make a compromise on the 23 race target for 2021. It is probably better for all involved, to have certainty on the final calendar as soon as possible, and to settle for less races this year.

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On this day in motorsport

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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28 comments on “Alonso to demo Alpine F1 car ahead of Le Mans 24 Hours”

  1. Concerning the COTD, Racer is reporting that the Japanese GP is going to be cancelled.

    1. @forrest And has since become official. I was decently confident but never counted out this possibility either.

  2. $100 million?!

    1. I’m guessing it would have been 20 million for 5 years or 30 odd million for three…

      1. @geemac Or 100m over two seasons since he had previously signed for 2017 and 2018.

    2. He might be counting personal sponsorships as well, which tends to be considerable extra income for some athletes, beyond salary.

  3. The Nico Roseberg article is great – read at the weekend. It is in The Times though not the Telegraph

    1. Nice to hear Alonso express interest to pair up with Max for LeMans. I think it would make quite a combo.

      1. Not sure that Verstappen is interested at this point, but yeah, I’d love to see that happen!

        Huh good to know @imcdnzl, indeed a good read for the weekend then; I find the direction of what Rosberg is doing quite interesting (though his ‘hot takes’ have been a bit controversial, one could also say that on tv he’s not afraid to ask akward questions, even though he’s also good at avoiding answering them himself; as a ‘colour’ commentator he was brilliant too, but here I’m talking about what he does outside of the tv stuff), and it’s good to have more people like him involved in bringing it to attention.

        1. @bosyber I agree that his personal content is good and he works well by himself. But on TV when working with others he comes across a little patronising, far too many superlatives “Amazing”, “Incredible”, “Wow, how incredible!, Really Wow Guys!”.

          Sky UK had him and Crofty in the booth for the Hungarian GP and it was painful at times. I felt like a toddler in a sandbox whilst over enthusiastic play-school teachers showed me how to put the correct shapes in the correct holes.

          I know it’s supposed to lend itself to perhaps a less knowledgable audience. But allow for some of the sport to just speak for itself, telling people something is exciting repeatedly, only serves to dull it over time.

          1. @bernasaurus, I thought his more up to date, and in depth understanding of these cars made him a match for Brundle in the commentary booth (and the explanation stuff is something all tv seems to need); yes, some of his other tv appearances seem a little scripted/guided by wanting to have a good controversy (though that’s certainly something the other Sky, or RTL, etc. tv people like too!), but again: he isn’t afraid to ask difficult questions either, because he’s not primarily a journalist, and doesn’t quite have the same need to be seen as non-threatening, which can sometimes be a great thing.

    2. Shame the interview is not available.

      Giving up $100 million is incredible, but I guess this forfeit comes to any athlete that wants to quit at their peak which many do. Raikkonen obviously not one of those, but can understand both approaches.

      From another site quoting this article, Rosberg gives a hint why he’d had enough:

      “There were the two camps, the Nico camp and the Hamilton fans,” he said. “And all the Hamilton fans were against me, of course.

      “[Once], there were these four-year-old girls right in front of me with their dads, and they were booing me and giving me the thumbs down. Their dads told them I was bad and that they needed to boo me!”

      Hamilton fans are always a pain, but add to that the British media practically in the booing camp, and his team leaders like Lauda firmly in the Hamilton fan camp, I guess it was just unbearable even if he would have the stomach for more fights or a desire for the money.

      1. Mostly agree, with the proviso that should be “fanatic fans are always a pain” please @balue, it’s really not unique to Hamilton (were it so, the world would be a lot less tribal).

        And that added to the strain of giving all to beat his much lauded teammate certainly seems like a healthy reason for Rosberg to decide he’d reached his set goal and should good things that have less annoying & frustrating side-shows added and were thus more rewarding and more likely to make him happy with what he was doing long term. He seems pretty content.

        1. @bosyber Instructing their kids to boo an F1 driver standing right in front of them I would say it’s almost certainly unique to Hamilton fans. I can’t possibly think any other fans in F1 that would have this level of hatred.

          1. Have you looked at football fans at all @balue? And from what I have seen, the Dutch ones partly translate to Verstappen fans. People can be nasty, unfortunately.

  4. A 60G load test (only) on the driver’s belts ?

    I am a bit surprised about how close we are from the limit actually as Grosjean’s crash for example recorded a 58G deceleration, or JM Correa and Hubert recorded awful highs with 65G and 80G.

    While test limit doesn’t mean the belt will fail at 61G, I would welcome tests a bit more in line with reality.

    1. What is the duration over which that load is applied? It is a bit of a complex question, since it is not just about the peak value, but also the duration over which that deceleration is experienced.

    2. Certain death is 75g, maybe the fia can make the belts withstand much more but is it going to change the outcome?

      1. @peartree

        A driver survived 213 g, so 75 is not certain death.

        1. @aapje 75g on the head is the death threashold and 100g to the torso.

  5. I cannot help but feel Rosberg deprived F1 fans of a great championship battle in 2017. With Ferrari’s resurgence that year (well, at least for two thirds of the championship), it would have been fascinating to watch. You never know, a couple of intra-team collisions and tensions at Mercedes would have given Ferrari the firepower to fight all the way through to the end. Ultimately, Bottas ended up playing the role of a great No. 2 and brought harmony which enabled Mercedes to get on with the job, throw all their focus behind Lewis and nail the championship. Of course, it is not for anyone to question a sportsperson’s commitment to his/her sport, but had he just stuck around for a while more and somehow managed to win the WDC in 2017, his 2016 win would be looked at with far more credibility than what it is currently.

    1. @thedoctor03 On the other hand, Rosberg quit after 2016 because he said he felt burned out, so maybe in 2017 he would have been nowhere, confirming that 2016 was a fluke. I think that he was wise to quit at his peak, and while I’m not a big fan of Rosberg that was a brave decision.

      1. It was rather that Lewis ran out of luck one single season so some one else got a chance. Rosberg turning down 100 million is a strong indication of how terrible Lewis had become already resorting to mind games, an indication he is not that strong at all. A wise decision by Rosberg since feeling happy is way more important than getting provoked by him. And on another note I really didnt and dont appreciate seeing Schumacher, Vettel (and probably Alonso) somewhere in the pack, not really making a difference anymore. Its an art to quit while you’re ahead.

        1. Mayrton

          And on another note I really didnt and dont appreciate seeing Schumacher, Vettel (and probably Alonso) somewhere in the pack, not really making a difference anymore. Its an art to quit while you’re ahead.

          Vettel was discarded by Ferrari more than he left them by his own initiative, he was spiralling down in terms of performance. Schumacher left the sport in 2006 as still strong enough but came back a journeyman, barely competitive nowhere near before. It remains to be seen if Alonso’s come back will be just a continuation of his languishing perspective of possible results far behind in slow cars or if there’s something else coming from the Alpine. Even though at his current age, to be driving fully competitive and giving a lesson to young guns is an achievement in itself, of course he wouldn’t bother to come back and go through all this just for the sake of it. Alpine must have at least a serious planning of a competitive car to allow him a more successful spell than his second one at McLaren. So if it was for him to retire after he hadn’t a clear shot at achieving big results, it would have happened as early as 2014. The doors for a competitive car to drivers not yet settled closed in during the beginning of the hybrid-era, you can realise no one joined the challenge for the title anymore except Vettel moving from one top team to another and an internally graduated Verstappen, because the technology makes it hard for new teams to ascend and the tolerance of its bosses on intra-team competition waned considerably. The contrast with the seven years before that (2007-13) is appalling, even with Red Bull domination is some of these seasons, a period that saw Formula 1 have several drivers and a nice number of teams having a shot on it (Ferrari, McLaren, Red Bull, Brawn GP, Lotus-Renault and to a lesser extent Mercedes). Taking that into perspective, we’re witnessing now way more promising times in Formula 1 than the last few years of stifled competition, both intra-team and across constructors.

  6. I agree with COTD, certainty sooner, even if this meant one or two fewer races than planned.

  7. “You were an experiment!”

  8. Re Alonso demo: Still celebrating, yeah!
    Re Zak Brown: Could be.

  9. @keithcollantine thank you for COTD. Only just seen that it was selected. They may have to compromise with today’s news.

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