Alonso Rates Le Mans Win ‘On A Higher Level’ Than Any Other


Fernando Alonso - McLaren - France - PC
Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd.

Fernando Alonso believes his 24 Hours of Le Mans victory last weekend is better than any other victory recorded at the legendary race.

Alonso returns to Formula 1 ahead of the French Grand Prix after emerging victorious with Toyota, claiming the second win in his quest for “the triple crown”.

All Alonso needs to do is win the Indy 500, which he competed in last year but failed to finish in the race. Only Graham Hill has completed the triple crown. Alonso has been linked with a return to IndyCar in pursuit for the win but the Spaniard has not decided on his future yet.

Speaking at the press conference ahead of this weekend’s Grand Prix, when asked whether IndyCar was an option for next year, Alonso replied with: “I didn’t think too much yet on this.

“As I said last year when I entered the Indy 500, that was a very attractive target, to achieve the triple crown and to be a little bit, let’s say, a more complete driver, not only driving Formula 1 cars.

“Yeah, obviously the Le Mans victory it puts a little bit closer that target, but I will think and I will see what I do next year.”

This year’s Le Mans only saw the #7 and Alonso’s #8 Toyota TS050 Hybrid, alongside Kazuki Nakajima and Sébastien Buemi, raced against each other for the overall win. Alonso’s Toyota team finished twelve laps clear away from third place, claimed by the Rebellion Racing team.

Despite the lack of competition in the LMP1 class, following the departure of Audi and Porsche in recent years, Alonso believes his win is on a higher level than any victory in Le Mans history thanks to the efficiency of the car.

“Last year were only four cars, this year there were 10. This year we had the only hybrid system I think with 49% more efficient than any other car, and it was a great challenge,” Alonso continued. “I put this victory on a higher level than any other victory at Le Mans.”

Alonso says that the intensity and technical challenge Le Mans presents in keeping a car going for 24 hours made the race unpredictable, something the Spaniard believes what’s missing in current day F1.

“It was different because the race is so hard and so demanding. Whatever package you have, you still need to fight throughout the race and still deliver the perfect execution of the race.

“We see in other categories, LMP2 and GTE, even the favourite ones, at the end of the race, it’s not so clear, it’s not predictable. The team of boss, Zak Brown, was third at the end of the race, and I think in qualifying it was 14th. That’s how hard Le Mans is and how unpredictable it is.

“In Formula 1 definitely we are missing that. We are all sitting here, and we know we could fight maybe for seventh in qualifying and for seventh in the race. That’s the biggest problem with Formula 1.”