Alonso does not rule out Le Mans return, even whilst in F1

Jaden Diaz
16 Jun, 2023

Fernando Alonso has not ruled out returning to the 24 hours of Le Mans, even whilst racing in F1, having secured two victories at the iconic race before.

Aside from the Spaniard, Nico Hulkenberg is the only other driver on the 2023 grid with a Le Mans victory, as drivers competing in F1 are increasingly limited in their ability to race in other series.

Just recently, Max Verstappen has revealed that Helmut Marko blocked him from racing outside of F1 this year at Nordschleife.

This scenario quite effectively summarises the current obstacles drivers face from competing in other categories.

However, given that Alonso competed in Le Mans whilst taking also racing for McLaren in 2018, he sees no reason why others cannot follow in his footsteps.

Ferrari’s victory at Le Mans this year, in a hotly contested battle with Toyota, has sparked discussion about the absence of F1 drivers from one of the most prestigious events in motorsport.

F1, WEC, Ferrari 499P Hypercar - LeMans wins

As ever, Fernando Alonso’s love for racing was clear when answering questions about competing in Le Mans whilst fulfilling duties in Formula 1:

“You can do it at the same time. I was in the World Endurance Championship and the Formula 1 Championship – so why couldn’t you do just one race [Le Mans]?”

“I did it in 2018, and the calendar there was also very long,” he explained to the media in Montreal.

“You already know my opinion. The more you race, the more you drive, the better you become. 

“Rather than being at a restaurant or at a beach… if you are behind the wheel, that is an advantage for your career.”

Other drivers at the press conference also echoed their admiration of the event, with Alex Albon admitting that he resorted to a “dodgy live stream” to watch the Le Mans action.

With that said, there was a unanimous caution about racing in the 24-hour event whilst also competing in an F1 season.

Although Alonso triumphed twice in Le Mans, it is easy to see why others will be sceptical to take the risk – and many drivers may not even receive permission from their teams.

In any case, with interest in all forms of motorsport growing, hopefully, Formula 1 drivers become emboldened to compete in other disciplines of motorsports.

Author: Jaden Diaz-Ndisang

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