McLaren racing director Eric Boullier believes a full-time World Endurance Championship program with Toyota would be “a distraction” for Fernando Alonso.
RACER understands the Spaniard is set to test for Toyota on the day following the season-ending WEC race in Bahrain on Nov. 19, with a view to taking part in the Le Mans 24 Hours next year as part of his attempts to win the Triple Crown.
While WEC will run a “superseason” across 2018 and 2019, next year’s race schedule only has one clash with Formula 1, with Alonso on Thursday hinting he could do more than just Le Mans.
“I don’t think that there is a better or worse opportunity [to do Le Mans],” Alonso said when asked about 2018. “I’m still young, I still have a lot of time to do Le Mans in a way. But as I said many times, I would like to win in other series, I would like to compete every weekend if I can. So, I don’t think that it’s Le Mans specifically what I’m thinking for next year.”
However, with Toyota highlighting it has yet to formally commit to the WEC next year let alone confirm its driver line-up, Boullier (below) believes anything beyond committing to Le Mans as part of ad-hoc attempts at major races would distract Alonso from his primary focus with McLaren in F1.
“He’s said he’s keen to do some races outside of the Triple Crown, there is a case-by-case discussion,” Boullier said. “Obviously his main and first focus if Formula 1, so I guess Formula 1 has priority. We will do everything we can to give him a competitive car and if it’s like this he will not race anything else.
“I don’t think you can physically do two programs – it’s complicated. If you commit to two programs it is a huge distraction, definitely. Doing Le Mans or doing Indianapolis or doing Daytona, why not? Because it’s a one-off. But doing more than this is definitely giving him a distraction out of his main commitment which is Formula 1.”