F1 Winter Break
2017
Fernando Alonso back at the wheel today in Daytona 24 hours challenge
McLaren Honda
Posted By: James Allen  |  05 Jan 2018   |  10:59 am GMT  |  84 comments

Fernando Alonso will get behind the wheel again today in Daytona as he begins his quest to win a 24 hour race and build up to his goal of winning Le Mans.

Alonso, 36, will share a United Autosports Ligier with McLaren reserve driver Lando Norris and Phil Hanson – both literally half his age at just 18 years – in the Florida classic, which takes place on 28/29 January. Today marks the start of three days of testing, dubbed the “roar before the 24”.

Alonso did an initial test late last year in Aragon Spain and also tested a Toyota LMP1 car, which is the hot favourite to win Le Mans 2018, as other main manufacturer rivals Porsche pulled out of the World Endurance Championship at the end of 2017.

This return to the USA for Alonso is sure to re-ignite the enthusiasm shown to him by US race fans when he made his dramatic debut at the Indianapolis 500 last year, where he was in contention for victory in the closing stages when his engine blew. His Honda powered colleague Takuma Sato won the race instead.

Alonso’s presence at Daytona is not a guarantee of success; the category is very competitive and sources at Daytona have suggested that there are up to 14 crews that are capable of winning the race.

That said, when top class drivers go there they have tended to do well; Juan Pablo Montoya has won the event three times, for example.

“I have always wanted to challenge myself in other categories of motorsport, as this is what you need to become a better driver,” Alonso said on the eve of his Daytona debut.

“Going out of my comfort zone by taking part in such an iconic race as the Daytona 24 Hours is just amazing.”

While the last few years have been lean for Alonso in Formula 1 – he hasn’t won a Grand Prix for almost five years – he has shown an admirable versatility in trying out other categories as he looks to a life after F1. At the recent FIA Hall of Fame event in Paris, where the F1 champions were inducted, I put it to him that he might emulate Mario Andretti as an F1 champion who not only raced at the top in multiple categories, but also carried on racing into his 50s. Alonso agreed that this was a realistic prospect.

The irritation for Alonso is the fact that his primary goal has not been fulfilled, which was to become a three times world champion like his idol Ayrton Senna. The 2007 season with McLaren should have brought him that, but extraordinary politics within the McLaren team and the competitiveness of his team mate Lewis Hamilton, meant that McLaren contrived to lose the drivers championship to Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen.

Since then Alonso has missed out twice in 2010 and 2012, both times with Ferrari to Sebastian Vettel.

Although the new 2018 McLaren, powered by a Renault engine, is expected to be far more competitive than the Honda powered 2017 model, it is still a stretch to imagine Alonso challenging for the world title this year, even if he is expected to be far more competitive.

So diversions like the Daytona and Le Mans 24 hours races, although his presence there is yet to be confirmed, set a new course for the Spaniard.

What do you think of Fernando Alonso’s assault on the Daytona 24 hours event? What do you think he will achieve in F1 with McLaren this season? Leave your comments in the section below

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84 comments

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1

A real adult man and racing driver.

2

Fernando Alonso... Ah, yes. Used to be among the leading drivers in F1 and is now enjoying semi-retirement with a back marker team and ventures outside of F1. wonder why James keeps referring back to him???

3

2 championships in not the most dominant car, is worth more than any number of championship in the most dominant car.

4

Hello, if Mercedes had taken Fernando instead of Lewis, and he had won a couple of titles there, would you discount them?

5

In relation to his first two championships,..yes I would?

If Mercedes had of taken Fernando instead of Lewis. Fernando would have 6 championships by now, ie............ He would have beat Nico in 2016.

The Snapchat meltdown, (Whispered).

Just when we all thought Lewis had grew up and started being the driver he can be, he goes and does 2016. Who knows what we'll get this year, or more importantly next year when Danny Ric gets in beside him.

All the talk from Totto in the Media about Bottas having to fight for the championship and team harmony doesn't come before results. Isn't for Bottas, it's "mind" managing Lewis.

Lewis has countered the Danny Ric talks with talking up The Max Attack but the only way he won't have Danny in beside him in 2019 is if he drives slow and lets Bottas get closer. This will be fine if the car is faster than the rest by a good bit but if it's not. Then Lewis may have to give up this championship just to get Bottas a longer contract after this year. Then destroy him again once Bottas is signed in.

6

@ Hello...you raise some interesting points in your post. It's my opinion that if the Renault is reliable and reasonably fast the we'll see Alonso pushing Red Bull. He is far from finished and he's had to swallow three years of humiliation from Honda. He has a lot to make up for. I certainly wouldn't pension him off at all as some people have indicated. The good thing is that he will be battle ready in March having spent time honing his skills and arriving match fit. On the subject of Hamilton's partner in '19 i noticed that he is not mentioning Ricciardo at all these days? He's trying to deflect any positives that may threaten his position at Mercedes. By talking up Verstappen he hopes to dull Ricciardos star and diminish him in the eyes of Wolff. I seriously think that Hamilton will do all he can to defer any chance Ricciardo has of joining Mercedes as he also knows that Verstappen is locked in for the next three years at Red Bull. If he can pull it off he will have eliminated two contenders. Ricciardo really must get out of Red Bull if he's to have any chance at a title tilt IMO. According to one report Ricciardo says that Horner came to him and tried to distance himself from the 'We will build the team around Max' and has reassured Ricciardo that it was taken out of context. Horner hasn't yet published a retraction or if he has then i haven't seen it. He claims to have assured Ricciardo of full equality!!!! As Mark Webber said, ' I no longer trust Horner' after he was shafted by Horner and Marko on more than one occasion. Horner will do lots to re sign Ricciardo and have him tied down. He doesn't want Verstappen to be racing against Ricciardo in a Mercedes or a Ferrari. Interesting times ahead.

7

Yeah Kenneth, Toto saying those things and Lewis talking up Max tells me things are getting interesting behind the social-media wall. If only walls could talk,......... sense.

These battles are as interesting as the strategy battles but instead of the time sheets to get your info from. We have to use transposition of formula (of a sorts) on their media releases. Trying to control the narrative is the real battle for team the managers.

8

An imaginitive post as usual Kenneth, but as usual it doesn't really match up with the facts does it? Here's what Lewis said about Ricciardo the last time he was asked...."Daniel is a fantastic driver, it would be a privilege to race against him," said Hamilton when asked by Autosport for his reaction to Ricciardo's comments.

"He's a great character, he always brings a lot of positivity within his team.

9

Yeah Timothy and we can base fasts of what Lewis has said and does.

"The team aren't giving me the same car".
"I won't talk to the media again".
"Someone doesn't want me to win this championship"........etc.

Posting setup data online.
Lying to the stewards,.......... I could go on.

Timothy stop posting spin as facts. He was asked directly about Ric driving beside him. If he didn't answer the way he did he loses face.

My quotes and facts above tells us not to believe what "Backtrack Hamilton" has to say.

The Snapchat meltdown, (Whispered)

Get a real job Timothy.

10

Hello. And here we go again! Lewis has never said "the team aren't giving me the same car", he complained when his kept breaking down while his team mates didn't, just like every other racing driver ever. He never said "I won't talk to the media again" either, I seem to remember him falling out with the print media at some piint in 2016, but so what? In what way does that tell you what Lewis' real thoughts on Daniel Ricciardo are? You have come up with quotes he never said, and irrelevant facts from many years ago, none of which proves your point in any way.
P.S, you keep banging on about Lewis lying to the stewards, for a better example of this happening, you should look up Fernando's hilariously porkie filled statement to the stewards after qualifying for the 2007 Hungarian GP.....

11

Hello, I notice the question mark at the end of your first sentence, the answer is 'no you wouldn't', those titles would be further proof of Fernando's crushing superiority over his worthless rivals.
You seem to be suggesting that Fernando's car wouldn't have broken down if he had been driving for Mercedes in 2016, is there no end to his talents? A bold claim that he would have beaten Nico, he got beat by Button, got beat by Lewis, he even got beat by Tarso Marques, but according to you he wouldn't have got beat by Nico?
It's funny how you describe a race weekend where Lewis missed out on pole by 0.013 seconds and finished on the podium as a meltdown, and yet never seem to mention Fernando's career damaging full scale nuclear event throughout 2007 in the same terms, I wonder why such a balanced observer as yourself never whispers about that?
The second part of your comment comes entirely from your imagination and isn't worthy of response, the first part is all about what would have happened if Mercedes had chosen Fernando instead of Hamilton, which is interesting, but at the end of the day, they didn't want Alonso did they? They wanted Lewis.

12

Sorry the question mark was meant to go,..........

"In relation to his first two championships?,..yes I would".

13

Yeah Timothy you're right, sorry for posting. What online reputation company do you work for?

Fell down to 8th and still finished on the podium in Japan tells us all how dominant the Merc is/was.

It doesn't matter about the cars reliability in 2016. That was outside Lewis' control. The points lost to his meltdown were within his control.

14

Hello. Every driver drops points, even Fernando. So a driver having a meltdown goes from eigth to third? Some meltdown! Lets not forget that he followed that weekend up with four straight wins and poles.......

15

Fernando's car wouldn't have broken down if he had been driving for Mercedes in 2016

Even if it did break down in Malaysia, it wouldnt have mattered as much because Alonso more than likely would have had better starts than both HAM and ROS.
Alonso is well known for his killer starts, same cannot be said for Ham in 2016

16

Jimothy. So you have decided that the poor starts from both Mercedes drivers in 2016 were caused by driver error? You might want to read up on that. Lets imagine your theory is correct though for a moment, what your saying is that both Merc drivers simultaneously forgot how to get a racing car off the line cleanly for a full season, after which Lewis suddenly remembered how to do it again for 2017? Doesn't sound very likely does it? Neither man had a reputation for being lacking in this area over the previous nine seasons that they had competed in, but apparently they both had a memory lapse at the same time?

17

You missed the point, Rosberg had better starts than HAM, so that shows Lewis had room for improvement.
In my opinion, Alonso would have done a better job than Rosberg.

18

Jimothy, you missed the point, both Merc drivers went from having a normal amount of bad starts, to an unusually high number in the same season. Does this not suggest to you that the problem may have been with the car?

19

Not sure about that, Renault was the best car, that was for sure. Simply put, the best car wins always, only bad luck can screw it.
Alonso is craving attention, fame, he goes for it when is lacking them. Hence his selfish reactions. But I am glad that for the sake of attention (and money) he is taking risks joining other series. I enjoyed his Indy racing, now Daytona. Did he prove that he was better than Indy guys? Nope. Daytona probably will prove the same, triple crown chase probably in vain. And that will hurt his reputation a bit, time will tell. Hats off for trying though. You cannot stop admiring him.

20

Yet it was the best car in both 2005 & 2006. I ran the numbers awhile back, in terms of how many rounds Fernando was over a race win's (or 2 race wins') worth of points ahead of his nearest pursuer.

You can go through it too, starting here for 2005:

http://www.statsf1.com/en/2005/australie/championnat.aspx

Over a race win ahead (4 rounds): BHN, SMR, ESP, JAP

Over two race wins ahead (11): MCO, CAN, USA, FRA, GBR, HUN, TUR, ITA, BEL, BRA, CHN

Over three race wins ahead (2): EUR, GER

The title was over after Brazil, so for the 17 rounds where the title was in play, Fernando was over a race win ahead for 15 of them! He was over 2 race wins ahead for 12 of those rounds (i.e. over two-thirds).

That is a stroll.

2006 was closer, but still:

Over a race win ahead (10 rounds): AUS, SMR, EUR, ESP, USA, FRA, GER, HUN, TUR, BRA

Over two race wins ahead (3): MCO, GBR, CAN

The title race went the distance that year, and Schumacher led (though only on countback) with two races to go. Still, that was the only time someone other than Alonso topped the standings. For 13 of the 19 rounds, Alonso was comfortable being over a race win ahead of the pack. Obviously Schumacher's blown engine in Japan was the turning point, as it turned a 2 pts deficit into a 10 pts lead for Fernando, right before the final race, effectively sealing the title for him.

I don't believe Hamilton's 2017 championship has anything to learn from either of Alonso's. Hamilton was behind for the first 12 rounds (over a race win behind after Monaco), and didn't gain on Seb's Ferrari in two consecutive races, until the Spa-Monza back-to-back. For the first two-thirds of the season, that was a back-n-forth knock-down drag 'em out fight.

Lastly, does a real adult man, or real racer, say something like this?

RENAULT OUT TO STOP ME - ALONSO
http://www.stcars.sg/guides-articles/renault-out-to-stop-me-alonso-54300

I guess we should've known from that, what was to come at McLaren ...

21

Both Schumacher and Alonso have 2 DNFs in 2006. One engine related each (Alonso in Monza, Schumacher two races later in Japan).
MSC has one DNF to his kredit (went out on apparently cold tires in Australia), while Alonso's other DNF was due to poorly attached wheel in Hungary while he was leading the race (which in turn gave Button his first GP victory).

22

To be fair though, 2005 had 9 different pole sitters and 06 had 6, so he didnt have the luxury of messing up his qualy and still being on the front row.

23

Jon, one off poles for Fisichella and Button hardly prove the point you are trying to make do they.....

24

If you discount Fisi and Button, you still have 7 pole sitters, but then you would have to discount the one off poles from 2014- 2016 from RIC and VET so thats 7 different pole sitters when Alonso won it vs 2 when HAM won it.
Conclusion - you are wrong.

25

Jimothy. Actually I was talking about 2006, so that's four pole sitters that are left. Discounting the one off poles in 2005 leaves three not seven, only Montoya, Raikkonen and Alonso got more than one, just as inly Hamilton, Bottas and Vettel were multiple pole winners this year. My comment was a response to your claim that Lewis could afford to mess up quali, and still be on the front row. Not sure why you think the number of pole sitters proves this, but either way you are wrong.

26

Lewis in 2014,15 and 16 was outqualified by Rosberg many times, one race he even had to abort his final run (Sochi i think) and was still half a second quicker than 3rd place.
2017 was closer but 14,15 and 16, even ROS managed front row starts when he made mistakes

27

Jimothy, and Jenson out qualified Fernando many times, so what? You have come up with one, rather vague example of Lewis getting a front row start in yhe way you describe. Not very convincing at all is it?

28

Its not about Lewis, its about Merc domination, look at the gaps in some Q3 sessions between ROS and HAM, Abu Dhabi 2015 as an example, ROS was four tenths slower than HAM but it was still easily good enough for P2.
Alonso had to fight Kimi, Schumi and Montoya, not his number 2 team mate, big difference

29

Jimothy, yes we were talking about Lewis, all your comments are about Lewis! If your saying the dominant Merc flattered Rosberg more than Hamilton, then I agree with you. You also forget a rather fundamental difference between qualifying in 05 and 06 and today, namely that drivers could fuel light in those days and get pole, but it would ruin their race strategy.

30

You must have dug deep to find that gem! I hope those statements don’t come back to haunt McLaren this year though...ooops.

32

Actually reading this tells me you don't know much about Motorsport/racing.

What you're putting forward as proof the car was dominant isn't the bulletproof evidence you would use to prove your point. It's lawyer spin.

For 2005, could you not have said the Renault had the most dominant tyres. But I'll stand by the fact the red car was the fastest chassis that year. When they got the tyres to work it was super fast. (Imola).

You've too much skin in this game man,...... mellow out.

33

Wow, can I just say I totally forgot a about Kimi and Mclaren in 2005. (I was just thinking of Schumacher and Alonso and mixing the 2 seasons together. (At this stage I've seen a lot of seasons)).

That Mclaren was the quickest car in 2005. Considering when Kimi and Alonso where teammates at Ferrari, Alonso was on average 0.6 seconds faster than Kimi.

Kimi's whole career has been based on not saying much and keeping a low profile.

34

The 2005 McLaren was quick, but very unreliable. Kimi took engine penalty after engine penalty that season.

The Renault was EASILY the best car in 2005.

35

Amazing, thanks for the link. Shmutz on his 'hands', always did that way. His ego is 'yuge'... Then McLaren brought the best of him.

36

KRB, Hello isn't interested in your boring old 'facts and data', there's only one thing he is interested in.......

37

Sweet Lord,... are you a Lawyer?

38

Hello, do you need one?

39

What online reputation company do you work for?

40

Hello, I realise you find it difficult to understand that some people like and respect Lewis, but that is the reality.

41

I don't know if this is does much to promote F1, but It's certainly is great to see a top driver race a different category while there still on top.

42

Good luck to him. Good PR for F1 and good news if the triple crown becomes a target for a few more drivers.

43

The cream always rises to the top.
Alonso is desperate to get himself into a good car, & there are more good cars than just formula 1.
I personally have no issue with drivers crossing categories, even though it may upset the belief of some, that one should concentrate on only 1 category to become proficient.
The nail in the tyre of that argument is Fernando Alonso himself. As we should all be well & truly aware of by now, whatever position any vehicle is capable of achieving, Fernando will drag it 2 - 3 positions further up the field.
I have huge respect & admiration for him & enjoy watching him work, without actually being a supporter, but I'd still put my money on him in a tricycle race.
Therefore, if there are 14 possible winners for the Daytona 24 hour, & the United Autosports Ligier is a top 5 car, then I will not be surprised if I have to stand & applaud another outstanding win by the amazing talent that is Fernando Alonso.
Having said that, I still don't think he will drag the Mclaren to the top step anytime this year.

44

Good luck to the bearded road warrior 👍

45

McLaren contrived to lose the drivers championship to Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen.

Perfect choice of word...contrived, that is. But would McLaren gave been so competitive of not for those photocopies?

46

The so-called photocopied information was never enacted upon as proven time after time. As anyone who understands the production & development process of an F1 car would know.

47

Oh please. McLaren had the entire Ferrari playbook of refinements and secrets, and let's not forget the data being fed to them as to what Ferrari were doing and how surprising it was for McLaren..and how much they learned from it.

Read up!
https://www.wired.com/2008/05/ff-formulaone/

48

I feel sorry for anyone who has to wade through that garbage. You might find 2 paragraphs facts, a lot of suppostions & assumptions and a writing style worthy of the National Enquirer in full flood. It is patently obvious to anyone who followed the story is that is anything, it was Ferrari that was caught cheating by the exposure of these papers but of course, being the FIA nothing was done about it. An illegal Ferrari won the champiosnship that year plain and simple. Here's the one paragraph that reinforces what I said in my post:

"But much of the data — like wheelbase measurements and weight distribution — had been deduced long ago by the subtle spying all teams do. Was the new information enough to get a unique advantage? Maybe, but many experts find it unlikely. The truth is, Ferrari almost certainly got more from the exchange than McLaren did: a way to trounce McLaren in public and through the FIA."

If McLaren eventually folds as a racing team or business entity, it's safe to say you could point at this episode as the catalyst for the team's downfall, and if you were in any doubt what kind of a snake Alonso is, then be my guest and read the whole lot, then wonder why Ron Dennis allowed him within 100 miles of his office door.

49

The ‘McLaren-Ferraris’ contrived to lose the championship to the lead ‘Ferrari-Ferrari’.

Despite the lead Ferrari conking out twice running in podium positions, odd that that is never mentioned in the narrative.

50

James could you please expand on using the word 'contrived'?

51

I root for ALO in F1 and I respect his will to drive and push...but I feel that all of these triple crown and "complete driver" objectives are just a way to try and distract himself from the desappointment of sensing he's never going to win another WDC. I wish I am wrong and that 2019 will see Mclaren to the top but...

52
Tornillo Amarillo

he has shown an admirable versatility in trying out other categories

Wait a minute... was not Stroll also in Daytona?

53

@Tornillo. Sorry but don’t see your point. I thought the article was about Alonso

54
Tornillo Amarillo

What do you think he will achieve in F1 with McLaren this season?

At least there are 3 races not won by Mercedes or Ferrari, so McLaren should get one win by Alonso this year, and several podiums, 2017-Red Bull style.

55
Tornillo Amarillo

Stroll enters this year’s Rolex 24 with Jackie Chan DC Racing, which operates in a partnership with JOTA Sport. Stroll is slated to partner Felix Rosenqvist, Daniel Juncadella, and Robin Frijns, with all four include on the entry list for the Roar.

--NBC Sports

A team to watch. Stroll finished 5th in Daytona 2 years ago.

56
Tornillo Amarillo

ROAR Practice I: DRIVER FASTEST LAP:
P10 NORRIS 1 38' 170''
P17 STROLL 1 39' 058''
P23 ALONSO 1 39' 604''

57

@tornillo
Norris will be the new lewis😊

58

100% agree with you James k👍

59

Amusing.

60

2018 is underway!!!!!! Hell ya!! The Roar and the D24 are probably my favourite part of the racing year.

I'm thrilled to see Alonso and Norris at Daytona this year. The last 2 races have provided literally 24hrs of action and intreague, with the final results coming down to the wire (last year was nuts for those who missed it).

I can't wait 😀

61

In years gone by the influence of the driver through their driving ability was far greater than today.
The drivers of today need to give the team a feel good factor that I just don't see from Alonso.
What I do see is a man with clearly amazing driving skills that seems to have bad karma.....and we all know about karma.
If I were Mclaren I'd cut him loose and let him pursue his own success in the lower disciplines that he clearly wants.
He has never and never will put the team first.
Alonso and Renault.....Renault imploded.
ALonso and Mclaren....Mclaren imploded.
Alonso and Ferrari....Ferrari imploded.
Alonso back to Mclaren...Mclaren imploded.
I know there is more to it but hey....karma.

62

By the way, this is something interesting for Daytona fans.

Paul Newman's Rolex Daytona sold for 17.8m!

Given a choice between a year supply of F1 PUs and this old used watch, I'd take the watch! 🙂

The story of how the guy got this watch from Paul is simply wonderful too.

https://www.hodinkee.com/articles/paul-newman-rolex-daytona-auction-most-expensive-watch-ever

63

Spoiler alert: He was given it.

64

Ywah, but why? And by who?

65
Ricciardo Aficionado

Nice link, great story. But boy o boy, what a scam !
I couldn't even afford a fake Rolex on the beach at Bali last year. Goddam trickle down...

66

Honestly, it's not even a very good watch. It's iconic, but at this time Rolex was pretty much an assembler of third party manufactured parts.

67

Good luck to Alonso in testing and all the best for the Daytona, the fans will keep a close tab on his progress.

Having said that, it's a shame the Daytona will be happening in the US considering the fact Alonso has only one once in both north, central and south America.

On the topic of Mclaren, it's really difficult times for the team for not only don't they have top priority of an engine manufacturer but also they lost the architect of their greatest success which is something similar to Manchester United losing Ferguson

As for what I think Alonso will achieve with Mclaren in 2018, I think he may finish the season possibly ahead of Kimi alone because the rest of the top drivers will be in better cars and are younger than him.

68

Alonso's primary goal was to become a three times world champion like his idol Ayrton Senna
---------------------------------------------------

Ironically, despite Senna being Alonso's idol, his driving style would indicate he is more like Prost than Senna e.g.

a) He isn't fast over only lap but makes up for this by making places on lights out

b) He isn't comfortable in the wet as he is sometimes seen sliding off the track

c) His driving style isn't very aggressive therefore is likely not to be involved in many shunts

d) He isn't famous for great overtakes but rather for being consistent

69

Alonso is the only man to overtake a 7 time WDC on the OUTSIDE of 130R.....not famous for daring overtakes....'chat right bro.

70

@ Twitch_6

No two ways about it, Alonso overtake on Schumi was a legendary overtake more so at a track like Suzuka with no run-off areas

However, there is a reason why the experts have never rated Alonso as the best overtaker

71
Clarks4WheelDrift

Agree and disagree with some of these points, good excuse for some vids tho, some seem quite nostalgic, despite being reasonable recent, compared to PU F1...

a) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MmVyfTUCbNU

b) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zVYp1ZqLLAM

c) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j8Em2sC9tw8

d) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BiVDyDkasS8

72

Great stuff clarks👍
Thanks for that!

73

@ Clarks4WheelDrift

No doubt Alonso has put in some mega drives over his career i.e been on pole, won in the wet and pulled off some daring overtakes

But overall, I would say he is more of a Prost kind of driver than a Senna kind of driver

74
Clarks4WheelDrift

Cool, Forza Alonso, rocking back up into another American back yard to take on the expereinced racers like Montoya! Good luck against the Caddys, hope the kids keep the car on track over the 24h and the engine holds on, looking forwards to it.

Anyone know what international channels it is on the telly or website or do we have to go stream searching??

p.s. Good luck to Bruno and PdR in the sister car!

p.p.s To resident bearded one expert Gaz, how fast does his beard look for this race, is he in with a shout?

75

If you're outside the US, you can watch the whole thing for free on either the IMSA website, or via RadioLeMans. RLM also does all the commentary for the international audience.

76

If Alonso performs well he should stay there.

All we are listening is his tantrums for past 5 years, no winning teams wants him, he fights with bottom places, commands ultra high salaries and so on.

He has maybe 1-2 prime years left if at all.

I would be happy to see him leave F1.

77

@shri
There’s are reason why teams pay him a high salary. I’m not the biggest Alonso fan, but a racer he is, and very good at it too.

78

Such powerful character to draw news whatever wherever whenever he does. Give him the competitive & reliable machine guys.

79

I wish Alonso well. I know last year, Niki Laura said "Alonso is the best driver in F1." I'm not sure that is true anymore. In fact, I he hasn't done much since even before going back to McLaren. I don't expect a lot from him at McLaren this year. It seems when these F1 drivers think the grass is greener somewhere else, they are on the leveling off period in their careers.

80

Great to see and hear that Alonso is racing at Daytona. I hope that he does really well. To some people Alonso cannot do anything without attracting poisonous posts. He is a great driver and he is a true racer whereby he looks to expand his repertoire and have some fun at the same time. Just win it Fernando......

81

"To some people Alonso cannot do anything without attracting poisonous posts". What terrible people they must be Kenneth.......

82

@TimW hahahahahahahahah, ohhhhh the blinkered irony huh? Pot calling the kettle black? Absolutely PRICELESS.

To stay on topic and in an attempt to not give certain people an opportunity to joyously use a slur against me, GO FERNANDO. Really looking forward to this, it will be the first time I have watched it live. Hoping for a great race.

Young Lando's times in practice are pretty eye opening!

83

The exigency, yep I will be rooting for Fernando and Lando all the way! I was very impressed with his efforts in Indianapollis, and like you will be watching my first Daytona 24 hours due to his participation.

84

Thanks Tim. Let's hope it's a good one. I always enjoy watching racing from the US, I should do more of it!

I'm as interested to see how Lando gets on as I am Fernando. He's looking very much the real deal so far and is surely destined for F1 soon.

The new Lewis? The fallout could be fun!

😀

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