Toyota has set up this week at the Portimão circuit to test its LMP1 for the next WEC World Championship. With them is Fernando Alonso, accumulating kilometers and experience to be fully prepared for Spa, the first race of the championship. Toyota looks very superior and without a direct rival that can overshadow them during the World Endurance. They have no other goal than to win it.
Alonso is there for that, to win the WEC, but mainly, to win the 24 hours of Le Mans. He has a good car, but it should be remembered that Toyota has never Le Mans. More than a challenge for both Alonso and Toyota. Far from the stressful world of F1, Alonso had a conversation with the national press there and where he analyzed the tough season that awaits him.
The Spanish highlighted electronics as the main difference between F1 cars and WEC cars: “Surely the biggest difference is the Toyota’s all-wheel drive, which changes the way you drive and accelerates when you exit the corners. It also has many more electronic systems than in Formula 1, there is more freedom in that sense. For example, there is traction control and it is highly developed and sophisticated. When you are driving it, you need to rely much more on electronics than on Formula 1″, said Alonso.
Fernando points on the fiability of Toyota cars as the main priority: “Here the resistance is sought, as well as the fiability. Although the performance of the car matter, they are the second priority. Therefore, the tests are focused on resistance, to test parts and take them to the limit”, said Fernando who praised the work of his team: “Toyota has experience for all these years with a group of experienced pilots and several years in the WEC so the adaptation is much easier with this structure behind. “
In addition, he said that Toyota do not think on their rivals but in a winning mentality against themselves, especially for the challenge of Le Mans: “For Toyota there is no competition with the rivals. The challenge is Toyota against Le Mans. It is the great challenge because Le Mans already puts you to the limit. More than being aware of the ‘rivals’, the challenge is against the race and this is the greatness of the project”
He does not miss to send a message of optimism about the great event of the WEC contest: “It is to participate in a mythical race and among the participants I am sure that I am in the best team and that gives me confidence. There is a lot to gain and a lot to lose but … when there is something to gain, it is worth it“, said Alonso as well as highlighting Le Mans as the circuit to which he has more desire to drive: “I have seen it many times but I do not know it. I’ve been … and I want to meet him. For example, Spa will be fun. It’s a circuit that we all love and it will be interesting, but Le Mans is the one that makes me more curious”, said Toyota’s driver.
Fernando is not so concerned about race weekends. He is worried about everything that involves running in two categories, although he is confident of being able to do it: “I will drive 27 Sundays but I will do 30 publicity events, numerous tests; I made one and I do another, there are more and also those of Formula 1. I know my body and I know how to do it. The races do not worry me but the other activities, I will have to plan them so that they do not consume me so much energy. It will be important this year to manage the time “.
To conclude, Alonso is cautious in stating that they have the best car, although he points out that the hybrid technology that his Toyota assembles is almost unbeatable: “That’s what we want and what we are supposed to, but we will see it in the first races. Hybrid in this type of car is practically unbeatable because of fuel savings and the benefits that you can get. We are supposed to be the reference car and if it ends up being like that, we will enjoy it. Sometimes you have it, sometimes not, but as we often does not have it, we will have to take advantage of it”.
He is hungry to win. Toyota gives you the perfect opportunity.