Motorsport Blog
Topic

Motorsport Blog

WEC Moves race date to accommodate F1 star Fernando Alonso

When Fernando Alonso made his announcement recently that he would compete in the World Endurance Championship with Toyota as well as F1 with McLare...

WEC Moves race date to accommodate F1 star Fernando Alonso

When Fernando Alonso made his announcement recently that he would compete in the World Endurance Championship with Toyota as well as F1 with McLaren, there was a clash in the calendar.

Today the organisers of WEC removed the clash to accommodate Alonso.

The round in October at Fuji was scheduled for the same weekend as the US Grand Prix at Austin, but it has now been moved. That has introduced a clash with a round of the IMSA Petit Le Mans SportsCar Championship finale.

It is a sign of the pulling power of Alonso to the series that they have moved a date to work around the two time champion.

Fuji requested the date change. The track is owned by Toyota, for whom Alonso will be racing and it hosted F1 Grands Prix in the days when Toyota was competing. Suzuka is owned by its main rival, Honda.

Toyota has some clout as it is the only remaining manufacturer team running hybrid turbo engines in the LMP1 class after Audi and more recently Porsche pulled out.

The Japanese date was moved originally to avoid the Petit Le Mans clash, but after Alonso signed for Toyota WEC team, there was pressure to revert to the original date so the Japanese fans could see the Spaniard in action.

WEC has seen a real spike of interest since Alonso made his announcement - unlike Nico Hulkenberg in 2015, who only competed at Le Mans, Alonso is embracing the WEC series and audiences on track and on TV are expected to be boosted significantly as a result.

Speaking to Gazzetta dello Sport this week former F1 driver Jean Alesi praised Alonso's initiative and even said that he hopes more top line F1 drivers will follow the lead and compete outside F1.

"It's great," Alesi said. "Fernando is not only brave but is setting a good example. I hope that many others will copy him."

Alonso is aiming to win the Triple Crown of Monaco GP, Indy 500 and Le Mans 24 hours. He has won Monaco and competed at Indy last season.

Williams driver Lance Stroll competed at the Daytona 24 hours last month, finishing 15th.

All Photos: LAT Images

What do you think of WEC moving the date for an F1 driver? Leave your comment below

shares
comments
The greatest German GP driver before Schumacher

Previous article

The greatest German GP driver before Schumacher

Next article

Sirotkin backing to be spent on car development - Williams

Sirotkin backing to be spent on car development - Williams
Load comments
Why dumping the MGU-H is the right move for F1 Prime

Why dumping the MGU-H is the right move for F1

OPINION: With its days apparently numbered, the MGU-H looks set to be dropped from Formula 1’s future engine rules in order to entice new manufacturers in. While it may appear a change of direction, the benefits for teams and fans could make the decision a worthwhile call

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2021
The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots Prime

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots

Team Lotus ceased to exist in 1994 - and yet various parties have been trying to resurrect the hallowed name, in increasingly unrecognisable forms, ever since. Damien Smith brings GP Racing’s history of the legendary team to an end with a look at those who sought to keep the flame alive in Formula 1.

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background Prime

Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background

OPINION: Formula 1 reconvenes for the Russian Grand Prix two weeks after the latest blow in ‘Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton’. While the Silverstone and Monza incidents were controversial, they thankfully lacked one element that so far separates the 2021 title fight from the worst examples of ugly championship battles

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
How Mika Hakkinen thrived at Lotus Prime

How Mika Hakkinen thrived at Lotus

Mika Hakkinen became Michael Schumacher’s biggest rival in Formula 1 in the late-90s and early 2000s, having also made his F1 debut in 1991. But as MARK GALLAGHER recalls, while Schumacher wowed the world with a car that was eminently capable, Hakkinen was fighting to make his mark with a famous team in terminal decline

Formula 1
Sep 21, 2021
The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey  Prime

The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey 

Before Michael Schumacher – or anyone else – had driven the 191 (or 911 as it was initially called), Eddie Jordan turned to a fellow Irishman to test his new Formula 1 car. JOHN WATSON, a grand prix winner for Penske and McLaren, recalls his role in the birth of a legend…

Formula 1
Sep 20, 2021
The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog Prime

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog

A podium finisher in its first outing but then never again, the BRM P201 was a classic case of an opportunity squandered by disorganisation and complacency, says Stuart Codling.

Formula 1
Sep 18, 2021
The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Prime

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix clash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences.

Formula 1
Sep 17, 2021
How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Prime

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Formula 1
Sep 16, 2021