McLaren chief Zak Brown jokingly said that the team has created a “racing monster” in Fernando Alonso. The comments came ahead of the Spaniard’s sportscar debut in the Daytona 24 Hours in January. It will be his second non-F1 event in the space of eight months. Alonso has signed up to race for Brown’s United Autosports team in the Daytona International Speedway’s famous endurance race.
As part of his new 2018 deal, Alonso can compete in other events. As long as it does not compromise his F1 program. The 36-year-old is aiming to complete the two outstanding legs of motorsport’s “Triple Crown” over the forthcoming years. In other words, the Indianapolis 500 and Le Mans 24 Hours.
Brown spoke about the Daytona opportunity: “We’d had some light conversations. We talk about different racing all the time, and I was with Fernando and Luis (Garcia Abad) his manager. He said, ‘I want to do Daytona.’ I’m kind of getting used to it after Indy! I turned around to Luis and said, ‘He’s serious isn’t he?’ And he said, ‘Oh yeah’ so I didn’t have to ask twice. We’ve created a monster — a racing monster!”
“I want to be the best driver in the world and to do that you need to win in different series, compete in different cars and sometimes you need to go out of this small world of Formula 1,” he said. “Motorsport is more than Formula 1.”
Alonso’s Daytona debut is expected to be a warmup for his first attempt at Le Mans. Brown said no deal was yet in place for Alonso to take a potential race-winning seat for 2018. The event takes place on June 16-17 on the weekend between F1’s Canadian and French Grands Prix.
Zak Brown on Alonso’s Endurance Plans
“Clearly he has got an interest in Le Mans and wants to go back to Indy,” added Brown. “I was a little surprised in how definitive it was (about Daytona) but the way Fernando works is he thinks things through quite a bit and then he makes a decision and it’s clear he had given a lot more thought to it than I anticipated and when he said he wanted to do it he was very definitive.”
Hamilton Enjoyed the Duel with Alonso in Mexico
“I was like, ‘This is one … Back and forth, back and forth,” said Hamilton of the duel which lasted several corners in the fight for ninth place. Just wait until this guy gets a good engine because the car was great through those sections and I really hope for McLaren, who have a special place in my heart, that next year is a better year and they will hopefully have a stronger engine and strong car. He’s a tough cookie and I enjoyed the little battle with him and I hope we get to have more like that.”