Fernando Alonso says he needs a lot more time at the wheel of an LMP1 car following his first test in Toyota’s TS050 hybrid last week.
The McLaren driver has been linked to a Le Mans 24 Hour drive with the Japanese manufacturer next year but told media in Abu Dhabi his plans haven’t been confirmed yet.
Alonso, who has also driven an IndyCar and LMP2 car for the first time this year, said the LMP1 machine was a “very different environment” to being in an F1 cockpit.
“You first need to sit in a different position and adapt a little bit and make some compromises for the other two guys that are sitting in the same cockpit,” he said. “So it’s not everything perfectly made for you and for your comfort like in Formula One.”
“You share the set-up so even if you would like to change something in the car to make your speed a little bit quicker, it’s not [necessarily] helping the overall performance or the car in general for the race distance. There are things you need to be aware and you need to learn.”
“I think driving styles are completely different. Probably more biased towards the most efficient way of driving like they have there for the fuel economy, things like that. So things to learn.”
“I was happy with the first day of testing but I think that I need much more practice and I need much more time to get up to total speed on that driving style.”
One of the two World Endurance Championship event prior to Le Mans, the Six Hours of Spa, does not clash with a race on the 2018 F1 calendar, which has prompted speculation Alonso could race there in preparation. Nico Hulkenberg took part in the same race in 2015 prior to his Le Mans appearance for Porsche.
While Alonso is yet to confirm his final plans, he did say that it will not affect his arrangements for 2018 if he begins the season in realistic contention for the drivers’ championship.
2017 F1 season
- Stripping Verstappen of 2017 US podium was “one of the toughest decisions” – steward
- Sepang pays Haas compensation for Grosjean’s 2017 crash
- Williams revenues rose in 2017 after Bottas deal with Mercedes
- New kerbs at COTA in response to Verstappen’s corner-cutting
- Australian Grand Prix cost government £56 million last year