Fernando Alonso has hinted that he could continue racing in the FIA World Endurance Championship once his Formula 1 career is over thanks to its less intense schedule as he gears up to make his debut at the 24 Hours of Le Mans this year.

McLaren F1 driver Alonso announced two weeks ago he had signed for Toyota Gazoo Racing in the WEC for the 2018/19 super season, fitting his sports car commitments around his grand prix schedule.

The driving force behind Alonso's WEC entry with Toyota is his desire to win Le Mans - part of his much-coveted 'triple crown of motorsport' bid - but the Spaniard sees the series as something he could continue doing to fight at the top level in motorsport after F1, likening it to Carlos Sainz's continued entry to the Dakar Rally after his World Rally Championship career ended.

"The level demanded by F1, in terms of time and preparation, is huge, and after so many years, you realise that the time will come when that's just not possible anymore," Alonso told Spanish newspaper AS.

"It's a bit like Carlos Sainz, when he decided to leave the World Rally Championship. It didn't mean that he had elected Dakar as his future. It's just that he likes rallies, he'd been world champion, but you need to be training and traveling every day all of the time - then all of a sudden there's a rally which is held once a year, it's exotic and very prestigious and you have the opportunity to race in it

"It's not really a case of making a conscious choice. You just like the competition and find it appealing because you enjoy racing and you have the chance to combine the two things and do something new which you haven't had the opportunity to do during many years of competition.

"The WEC gives you that. You have fewer races over the year. You can get a little of your life back but, at the same time, continue competing."

Alonso has another three years left on his McLaren contract that expires when he is 39, and while the WEC may offer a less demanding option to keep racing after F1, he does not expect to still be racing come 2028.

"I don't think I'll be racing," Alonso said when asked where he will be in 10 years' time.

"I'd like to be doing something which doesn't involve so much traveling and take up so much of my time.

"In motorsport, it's difficult to do something where you can work from home. Right now I can't see that, but who knows?"