Mark Webber says F1 great Fernando Alonso is making a mistake by running IMSA Rolex 24 | Autoweek
Mark Webber says F1 great Fernando Alonso is making a mistake by running IMSA Rolex 24

Fernando Alonso will race in his first Rolex 24 on July 27-28 at Daytona International Speedway. Photo by LAT PHOTOGRAPHIC

Mark Webber says F1 great Fernando Alonso is making a mistake by running IMSA Rolex 24

Alonso testing the waters in Daytona ahead of possible Le Mans effort

January 9, 2018

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Two-time Formula 1 champion Fernando Alonso is making a mistake by trying to combine F1 with endurance sports cars.

That is the claim of his friend and former rival Mark Webber, after Alonso completed a week of testing at Daytona ahead of his prototype racing debut this month at the IMSA Rolex 24 at Daytona.

Alonso, who spread his racing wings last year at the Indianapolis 500, is using the 24 Hours of Rolex to see if he wants to bid for the 24 Hours of Le Mans victory later this year. However, Webber, who switched full time to sports cars after his F1 career but is now retired, thinks Alonso is making a mistake.

Asked if he backs Alonso's decision to divide his energy between F1 and sports cars, Webber told Italian media outlet Automoto: "No, it's a mistake. They are two totally different things that both absorb a lot of mental energy. I think if you're doing F1 you can't afford distractions -- (F1) is so specific that it doesn't allow room."


However, a couple of years ago F1 driver Nico Hulkenberg showed that it is possible to even win Le Mans during a full-time F1 season. Hulkenberg won at Le Mans as part of a Porsche effort in 2015. Hulkenberg was racing for Force India that year.

But Webber said, "That was with a second-rate team in F1. The pressures are different. He was also with the top Le Mans team and that simplified things a lot."

Webber thinks Alonso could even win Daytona this month, but he questions the point of such an exercise.

"If he wins it would be amazing," Webber said. "He's a driver with talent unlike almost anyone else in the world. It would be fantastic, but it will not give him anything."

By GMM