F1 news: Fernando Alonso reveals shock plans just hours after signing McLaren contract.
FERNANDO ALONSO has revealed he could enter the Daytona 24-hour race in January – before then trying to win Le Mans.
The double Formula One world champion yesterday confirmed he had signed a new contract with McLaren that will keep him at the team next season.
But he then dropped a bombshell hours after by unveiling plans to dominate motorsport titles away from F1.
That follows his bid to win the Indy 500 earlier this year, which ended in disaster when his Honda engine failed with 21 laps to go.
When asked specifically about Daytona, Alonso said: “The first priority was to finalise the F1 deal and now that is done, I will look at the other options.
“For the Indy 500 it was a nice experience, I felt very competitive but it was a big challenge that I took from zero, from no testing, not any similar race before it.
“If I want to prepare Le Mans, maybe there are other possibilities to prepare Le Mans a little bit better than I prepared the Indy 500.”
McLaren executive director Zak Brown has confirmed Alonso’s new multi-year agreement allows him to race in other events so long as the F1 team’s activities are not compromised.
Alonso missed the Monaco Grand Prix to race at Indianapolis this year – but that only because Honda’s dismal performance in the Formula One championship meant their season was over.
McLaren expect to be much more competitive next season with a switch to Renault engines.
But Le Mans would still be a possibility because that endurance classic does not clash with any Grand Prix.
“If Fernando wants to do Daytona and we have a seat available, we would put his name on it happily,” said Brown, whose United Autosports team has an entry to that race.