Le Mans my priority, says two-time F1 champion Alonso

Fernando Alonso steered his stricken McLaren to a remarkable seventh-placed finish in last weekend's Azerbaijan Grand Prix
AFP

Spa (Belgium) (AFP) – Two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso is making the endurance test of 24 Hours of Le Mans his chief priority this season, the Spaniard told Belgian daily Le Soir on Thursday.

Alonso is sixth in the F1 drivers’ standings after four races for McLaren but takes part on Saturday in the Belgian leg of the World Endurance Championships with Toyota, the first of six endurance races on his agenda this season.

“My priority is to live the Le Mans experience. A huge race,” the Spaniard told Le Soir.

“I don’t think I can save my F1 season but I have this opportunity to take part in Le Mans and I don’t intend on wasting my chance.”

The 2005 and 2006 world champion is serious about his ambition of becoming only the second driver to complete motor-racing’s triple crown of the Monaco GP, the Indy 500 and Le Mans, after Britain’s Graham Hill.

Alonso shone at the Indy 500 in the United States last year before his Honda suffered engine failure, winning many fans in America.

The McLaren man said he would have to learn to curb his F1 instincts in the endurance races.

“In Formula 1 you go flat out on everything but here (at Spa) its is often the opposite, for example on braking,” he explained.

On Saturday he will be one of 39 competitors for the Spa Six Hours along with teammates Sebastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima.

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