‘A motivated Alonso is a formidable asset’

Date published: January 31 2018

McLaren have given Fernando Alonso the go-ahead to contest the 24 Hours of Le Mans and other WEC events as Zak Brown feels it will only make him a better driver for McLaren.

Earlier this week Alonso announced that he would race in the World Endurance Championship with Toyota, including a run at the 24 Hours of Le Mans – one part of motor racing’s Triple Crown.

It means a hectic schedule for the Spaniard as this year’s F1 calendar is already up to 21 races meaning from May to June he will be racing in seven consecutive weekends.

However, Brown believes letting him do this will benefit McLaren.

“It’s no secret that Fernando has wanted to contest the Le Mans 24 Hours,” said the executive director.

“And I think everybody within our organisation appreciates that a motivated, hungry and happy world-class driver such as Fernando is a formidable asset for any team in F1.

“Last year, we came to the joint decision to go racing with Fernando at the Indy 500 rather than at the Monaco Grand Prix. But we’ve always said that we would consider each opportunity on a case-by-case basis, and we both know that, in 2018, our core priority is success in Formula 1.

“Like Fernando, at McLaren we’re racers at heart, and our team is built on a brave heritage of competing and succeeding in different forms of the sport.

“Equally important is the confidence that nothing detracts from our number one goal of Formula 1. After proper evaluation, we are satisfied that this campaign does not do that, and that McLaren’s best interests prevail.”