The organisers of the World Endurance Championship have moved the date of the Japanese round of the series which will allow Fernando Alonso to take part in the race.
The planned change, revealed last week by F1 Fanatic, means Alonso will be able to participate in Toyota’s home race as well as all other WEC rounds being held this year.
McLaren has confirmed to F1 Fanatic that Alonso will be allowed to race in Fuji, as he will do in every other WEC round this year.
The race has been moved forward one week to October 14th, meaning it no longer clashes with the United States Grand Prix. It will be held on the same weekend as Petit Le Mans, the final round of the American IMSA series.
The move to change the date, which was instigated by Toyota, prompted a mixed response from drivers. Before the change was confirmed Oliver Jarvis said: “I understand the benefit for commercial reasons for WEC, Toyota and Fuji but what about all the drivers who have already done deals based on the current calendar and who have been a loyal part of the championship for many years?”
Olivier Pla, who was scheduled to participate in both races, criticised the decision after it was announced.
“Many thanks WEC,” he posted on social media. “I can’t believe you did it.”
“Your lack of consideration and respect for the drivers who had a [contract] with a team in IMSA to race in NAEC the same weekend are unbelievable. I’m sure I will be not the only one to be impressed with what you did.”
2018 F1 season
- Honda’s jet division helped F1 engineers solve power unit problem
- McLaren Racing losses rise after Honda split
- Ricciardo: Baku “s***show” was Red Bull’s fault
- “Drive to Survive Episode 1: All to Play For” reviewed
- F1’s television and social media audiences rose last year