McLaren chief Zak Brown has joked that the team have created a “racing monster” in Fernando Alonso ahead of the driver’s sportscar debut in the Daytona 24 hours in January.
It will be Alonso’s second non-F1 event within eight months and he will be racing for Brown’s United Autosports team in the famous endurance race. Alonso’s contract with McLaren allows him to compete in other events as long as it doesn’t compromise his F1 programme.
Speaking last week Brown said, “We’d had some light conversations, we talk about different racing all the time, and I was with Fernando and Luis [Garcia Abad] his manager and he said ‘I want to do Daytona’. I’m kind of getting used to it after Indy! I turned around to Luis and said ‘he’s serious isn’t he?’ And he said ‘oh yeah’ so I didn’t have to ask twice.”
Brown added, “We’ve created a monster – a racing monster!”
Alonso recently said that his plans are “much greater than anyone can think” and that his ultimate aim is to become racing’s best all-round driver.
Speaking to reports at the Mexican GP Alonso said, “I want to be the best driver in the world and to do that you need to win in different series, compete in different cars and sometimes you need to go out of this small world of Formula 1. Motorsport is more than Formula 1.”
It is thought that Alonso’s Daytona debut is a precursor to his first attempt at Le Mans at some point in the coming two years. However, there are no arrangements yet in place for him to compete in next year’s Le Mans.
“Clearly he has got an interest in Le Mans and wants to go back to Indy,” added Brown.
“I was a little surprised in how definitive it was [about Daytona] but the way Fernando works is he thinks things through quite a bit and then he makes a decision and it’s clear he had given a lot more thought to it than I anticipated and when he said he wanted to do it he was very definitive.”