Fernando Alonso has compared his early experiences with the Toyota TS050 LMP1 car to a rocket ship under acceleration after testing with the Japanese manufacturer at Aragon in preparation for the FIA World Endurance Championship ‘super season’.
Last month it was officially confirmed Alonso would run a joint programme in Formula 1 with McLaren and in WEC with Toyota after weeks of speculation with the Spaniard targeting victory at Le Mans 24 Hours.
Having taken part in the WEC post-season rookie test in Bahrain plus a winter test in Aragon with Toyota, as well as his first taste of 24-hour endurance racing at the Rolex 24 at Daytona last month, Alonso is relishing the challenge ahead and has hailed the performance of the TS050 LMP1 car. Toyota, who revealed its 2018 tweaked livery on Thursday, will be the only manufacturer-entered into the LMP1 class for 2018-19.
“The car is just amazing, this machine is something very special,” Alonso said. “I think the four-wheel drive, together with the boost of the hybrid system makes the acceleration feel like a rocket ship.
“You go out of the corners and you feel the compression of the seat and your eyes are very wide open. Any racing driver should feel that at least one time.
“To race in the best venues, the best circuits in the world like Le Mans with some of the best teams on the world like Toyota it is a privilege and a dream come true.”
Alonso is also aware of the extensive preparation and self-maintenance he will need to undergo over the next 12 months with his dual F1 and WEC campaign. The two-time F1 world champion will take part in every F1 round in 2018 plus all but one WEC round as the 6 Hours of Fuji clashes with F1’s United States Grand Prix – however reports recently emerged about organisers trying to change the Fuji race date to accommodate Alonso.