Sebastien Buemi, Fernando Alonso, Kazuki Nakajima, Toyota, Spa-Francorchamps, WEC, 2018

Spa win ‘like a test for Le Mans with points at the end’ – Alonso

World Endurance Championship

Posted on

| Written by

Fernando Alonso declared Toyota are ready for the Le Mans 24 Hours after their one-two result in today’s Spa Six Hours.

Alonso, Sebastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima shared victory in the first WEC round of the 2018-19 ‘super-season’, which is the last race before the teams head to Le Mans.

“Definitely this is a warm-up for Le Mans,” said Alonso. “Like a test but with points at the end of the chequered flag.”

“We wanted to test ourselves in a proper race conditions with other teams, the drivers [under] stress, the mechanics [under] stress, everyone in racing conditions. And we delivered a one-two, so I think we are ready for Le Mans.

“Definitely the race is a lot tougher, 24 hours, a lot of issues may appear but we are as prepared as possible so I think we will go with confidence into the race.”

The number eight Alonso/Buemi/Nakajima Toyota inherited pole position when the number seven car was forced to start last with a one-lap penalty after being excluded from qualifying. Alonso said his side of the garage adopted conservative tactics for the race which played against them when their team mates got back on the lead lap.

“We took quite a safe approach in the race knowing that we were in a good advantage. But then with the Safety Car probably that advantage went, so our safe approach was not the quickest and we had to fight until the end.

“But as I said the team is amazing. Six Hours race, it seems easy, but I think the other LMP1s were quick at the beginning of the race. We stopped before them in the first stop so they were a risk there.

“Anything can happen in six hours. A lot of traffic, a lot of risky moments. I think we executed the race to perfection and we got the one-two so it’s good for the team.”

Alonso’s victory is his first in international competition for almost five years. “I was telling Kazuki and Sebastien it is so nice to be on the podium and I will be here all night long, so pick me up tomorrow morning because I will try to sleep here,” he added.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

World Endurance Championship

Browse all World Endurance Championship articles

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

Posted on Categories World Endurance ChampionshipTags ,

Promoted content from around the web | Become a RaceFans Supporter to hide this ad and others

  • 20 comments on “Spa win ‘like a test for Le Mans with points at the end’ – Alonso”

    1. If Nando can nap into late summer, he could pickup another Spa podium on the trot. Er…on the snooze.

    2. It is great to see him out showing his skills, if he didn’t have a Honda engine last year who could have won the Indy 500. He was in such a good position late in the race.

      1. Can you imagine? Had he won the Indy last year, he would be able to score the Triple Crown in a month from now and be done with it already.

      2. @blueruck could you remind me what engine powered the winning car in last year’s indy 500?

        1. A Honda badged Chevrolet?

          1. Boom!

    3. Man he is looking good for a triple crown now. I think Nico Rosberg could also attempt it.

      But good job unlike F1 he is in the right seat.

      1. Sweet Rabbit
        6th May 2018, 4:57

        Will Nico Hulkenberg ever be in the position of winning Monaco though?

        1. Fudge Kobayashi (@)
          6th May 2018, 17:03

          He said Rosberg.

    4. I felt like it was rigged for him to win. The Nr 7 had so much pace and was really pushing Alonso, then they called (the 7) to pit. After the pit it did not close the gap at all like the team order to do so

      1. +1 that’s without the stupid penalty which put them a lap down in the first place. Car 7 wasn’t pushing in the end and was happy to play the Alonso game show. Toyota were always going to get much more publicity if Alonso wins his first race which also builds the hype up for Lemans.

      2. Archit (@architjain07)
        7th May 2018, 14:56

        @notacop – Read this quote from Toyota spokeperson: It’s worth adding that we would have issued exactly the same instruction if car seven had been leading after the final stops!

        I dont understand why people cant take Alonso on his merit. Safety car closed the 55 second gap they had over No#7 car otherwise they would never had the chase in the first place!

    5. Great to see Nando win, but it didn’t really look like he had any competition. To me, it looked like the 7 got the Raikkonen treatment because Toyota wanted to play up to the Alonso show. Hopefully that’s not an indication of what’s to come, or else we’ll really need Rebellion to step it up.

    6. They delivered a 1-2 but, against who?

      1. No one.
        Last year and the years before I was at Spa for a very reason: hard racing and rivalries. Porsche, Toyota and Audi battling for the win is the spectacle I want to see.
        This season is a sad one for the WEC, even though there’s the Alonso-hype and Crashtor Maldonado, as there’s just one team in the top class.
        I’m afraid that if Alonso wins Le Mans this year, he won’t come back and that the Championship itself might end up empty from stars and manufacturers.

        1. FlyingLobster27
          6th May 2018, 10:42

          It would be hilarious if he did, but Alonso won’t quit if he wins Le Mans this year. Toyota wanted him for the full season, heck they made the organisers change the date of a race so that could happen!

    7. The gave team orders, he was like shaking like a flan. He almost collided with backmarkers, and leaved the track lot of times, that was the point where they gave team orders because he has 0 chances of being first. Also it was Buemi turn to drive, but they gave him the driving turn because they already know they were going to win. FAKE!

    8. Bit like driving a Mercedes F1 car in 2014, 2015, 2017 really – there’s really no other car in the same league.

      Still history will show that he was in the winning team & in a few years no one will remember that it was essentially a 1of 1 win.

      1. @dbradock You pobably meant 2016 as the last one since in 2017 the Ferrari was faster overall. In the first half of the season they were fastest outright. Just lacking in quali pace a little. After their oil burning system in Baku was declared illegal they struggled a bit more, but the last few races like Singapore, Malaysia etc could have been easily theirs too. After wasting points in Baku by driving into Hamilton, Vettel threw it all away in Singapore.

        1. Yep – of course I did – thought I typed 2016

    Comments are closed.