Fernando Alonso has signed a long-term contract with McLaren but his plans for the Triple Crown are still intact.Alonso’s new deal includes provisions allowing him to compete in non-F1 racing events.
The Spaniard has ruled out going back to Indy500 in the next season as it clashes with Monaco Grand Prix dates. Paddock talks suggest Alonso might try his hand at Le Mans 24 Hours next year.
The two-time world champion says he is looking forward to a competitive year in the Renault power McLaren and is also looking forward to competing in other race series.
Talking with SkySports, Alonso said: “For me, I would race every weekend in any car in any country,”
“Obviously that would be difficult for McLaren to allow me to race every weekend, but I think two or three weekends of the year [I will race] in a different series.
“So at the right time I will speak with the team and we’ll see what happens.”
Out of his ‘Triple Crown’ dream consisting of Le Mans, the Indy 500 and the Monaco GP, Alonso won the Monaco Grand Prix in 2006 for the first time.
He is expected to feature in Daytona 24 hours race under United Motorsport in January 2018.
McLaren director Zak Brown, who helped to set up Alonso’s Indy attempt this year, mentioned that McLaren willing to support their star driver in any other series as long as it doesn’t affect his commitment to Formula 1.
“If Fernando would like to do some additional racing that doesn’t compromise our Formula 1 efforts then we’ll be open to that conversation and flexible,” Brown told reporters.
Renault engine +McLaren chassis = Success?
Historically McLaren has been the most successful F1 team. But their partnership with Honda in the last three years has been a complete failure mostly due to power and reliability issues of the Japanese engine.
Alonso believes that after the breakup of the old partnership, McLaren Chassis, fuelled by Renault engine, will deliver excellent performance.
“I think this year we’ve really progressed and developed the car in the right way and the right direction,” said Alonso.
“Sometimes we’ve had difficulties to see the results from the wind tunnel on the track but this year, every part we’ve put on the car is delivering what we expect.
“Definitely that gives us confidence for next year. All the stuff currently in the wind tunnel, we have to have the trust that it will deliver next winter when we put it on the track.”
Alonso held back on extending his contract as he was very unhappy with Honda engine. He waited till the British company switched to Renault, studied the plans and only then agreed to a new deal because he is serious in his quest for his third title.
“I had this feeling inside that we were doing everything right on the chassis part,” the 36-year-old added. “We have all the data analysis, where we lose at which part of the corners – high speed, low speed, straights.
“If we put some other power unit on our chassis, we know what we can do, and I think that’s probably the best news I had and what convinced me [to stay].”