Fernando Alonso paid tribute to Toyota for an "amazing" job after ending a win drought dating back almost five years in professional motorsport on his FIA World Endurance Championship debut at Spa on Saturday.

McLaren Formula 1 driver Alonso teamed up with Kazuki Nakajima and Sebastien Buemi to convert pole position into victory in the #8 Toyota TS050 Hybrid on Saturday, heading up a one-two finish for the Japanese manufacturer to start the new WEC super season.

"I think it was a nice debut, definitely. We finished second yesterday in qualifying, but we started in first position so it was nice to hear the national anthem there before the race in front of everyone," Alonso said.

"In the race, we led basically all the laps. We had three Safety Cars that regrouped and we lost the advantage that we had, but we just kept the positions until the last lap. A fantastic debut, first endurance race in the world championship.

"An amazing job by the team, one-two in qualifying, one-two in the race, Kazuki and Sebastien at the start pulling away. They made my life a little bit easier."

CrashTV: 
Video Thumbnail: 

The result marked Alonso's first win since his last F1 victory at the 2013 Spanish Grand Prix with Ferrari - coming four years, 11 months and 23 days ago - but he joked he had "won a couple of races in go-karts" since then.

"In a FIA world championship, it was in Formula 1 a couple of years ago in Spain with Ferrari. It's nice to be on the podium," Alonso said.

"I was telling the guys, Kazuki and Sebastien: 'This is so nice to feel the podium! I will be here all night long. Pick me up all night long because I’ll try to sleep here!'"

The result gives Alonso and his teammates a perfect start ahead of next month's 24 Hours of Le Mans where he will bid to claim a second leg of the 'triple crown of motorsport'.

"I think definitely this is a warm-up for Le Mans. It’s a preparation, this is like a test but with points at the chequered flag," Alonso said.

"Definitely we wanted to test ourselves in proper race conditions with other teams, put the drivers under stress, the mechanics under stress in racing conditions, and we delivered a one-two.

"We are ready for Le Mans. Definitely the race is a lot tougher, 24 hours, a lot of issues may appear in the 24 hours, but we are as prepared as possible.

"I think we will go with confidence into the race."

 

Comments

Loading Comments...