McLaren’s Fernando Alonso has commenced his year of double duties this week starting the second leg of his nine events in eleven weekends.
The Spaniard, now in his eighteenth year of Formula 1, has signed on with Toyota this year to race in the 2018-19 FIA World Endurance Championship ‘super season’. He will race alongside former Toro Rosso driver Sébastien Buemi and former Williams talent Kazuki Nakajima in the #8 Toyota TS050 Hybrid LMP1 entry.
The upcoming World Endurance Championship season takes place as the FIA and WEC organisers agreed on making the famous Le Mans 24 Hours the final race of the season from 2019. This decision therefore means that this year’s one-off season will feature eight rounds of racing across fourteen months for Alonso and the rest of the 107 drivers.
Alonso’s move comes after McLaren’s decision to split with former engine supplier and Toyota rival Honda, following the Woking squad’s nightmare three-year stint with the Japanese engine builder.
Although some have argued that his work outside of Formula 1 may hinder his performance at McLaren, the CEO of the Woking-based team Zak Brown has supported his intentions by helping Alonso race at last year’s Indianapolis 500 and February’s Rolex 24 at Daytona with his United Autosport team.
Alonso’s seat at Toyota provides him with the best chance to further his ambitions to claim a ‘Triple Crown’ by adding to his two Formula 1 World Championship titles with victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The Toyota TS050 is the only hybrid entry this season – following Porsche and Audi’s respective decisions to end their LMP1 campaigns – which will give the Japanese outfit a clear shot at finally winning at the Circuit de La Sarthe.
|Alonso’s busy schedule|
|27-29 Apr 2018||Azerbaijan Formula 1 Grand Prix||Baku City Circuit, Azerbaijan|
|03-05 May 2018||FIA WEC 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps||Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium|
|11-13 May 2018||Spanish Formula 1 Grand Prix||Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Spain|
|25-27 May 2018||Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix||Circuit de Monaco, Monaco|
|08-10 Jun 2018||Canadian Formula 1 Grand Prix||Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Canada|
|13-17 Jun 2018||FIA WEC 24 Hours of Le Mans||Circuit de la Sarthe, France|
|22-24 Jun 2018||French Formula 1 Grand Prix||Circuit Paul Ricard, France|
|29-01 Jul 2018||Austrian Formula 1 Grand Prix||Red Bull Ring, Austria|
|06-08 Jul 2018||British Formula 1 Grand Prix||Silverstone Circuit, United Kingdom|
Image via Toyota Racing
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