Fernando Alonso has hit back at suggestions his victory with Toyota in the 24 Hours of Le Mans was devalued by a lack of manufacturer competition in the LMP1 class, saying the win was "at a higher level than any other victory in Le Mans".

Formula 1 star Alonso teamed up with Sebastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima to claim Toyota's maiden Le Mans victory in the #8 Toyota TS050 Hybrid, heading up a one-two finish for the Japanese manufacturer.

However, Toyota was the only manufacturer team racing in the LMP1 class at Le Mans following the departures of Audi and Porsche in 2016 and 2017 respectively, with Alonso and co. finishing 10 laps clear of the third-placed car, entered by the privateer Rebellion Racing team.



Alonso rejected suggestions that Toyota's win was devalued by the lack of manufacturer competition, instead believing it was worth more due to the expanded LMP1 class, with 10 cars taking to the race as Toyota's two-car assault was joined by eight further entries.

"Last year were only four cars, this year there were 10. This year we had the only hybrid system I think with 49% more efficient than any other car, and it was a great challenge," Alonso said.

"I put this victory on a higher level than any other victory at Le Mans."

Alonso explained how the technical challenge of keeping a car going for 24 hours made Le Mans so unpredictable and difficult, offering a kind of experience not present in F1 currently.

"It was different because the race is so hard and so demanding. Whatever package you have, you still need to fight throughout the race and still deliver the perfect execution of the race," Alonso said.

"We see in other categories, LMP2 and GTE, even the favourite ones, at the end of the race, it’s not so clear, it’s not predictable. The team of [McLaren] boss, Zak Brown, was third at the end of the race, and I think in qualifying it was 14th. That’s how hard Le Mans is and how unpredictable it is.

"In Formula 1 definitely we are missing that. We are all sitting here, and we know we could fight maybe for seventh in qualifying and for seventh in the race. That’s the biggest problem with Formula 1."


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