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Thursday, February 22, 2024

Al-Attiyah expects Alonso to return to Dakar sooner or later

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Throughout his sabbatical from Formulation 1 after a troublesome second stint at McLaren, Alonso ventured into all kinds of motorsport disciplines together with endurance racing, however arguably confronted his hardest problem when he entered Dakar in the beginning of 2020.

Driving the manufacturing unit Toyota Hilux within the prestigious cross-country rally in Saudi Arabia, the Spaniard exceeded expectations by ending inside the highest 10 in eight of the 12 phases, finally registering a decent Thirteenth-place outcome within the remaining standings. 

Alonso has since put his focus again on F1 and lately signed a multi-year deal to maneuver to Aston Martin, maintaining him in grand prix racing till not less than the top of the 2024 season.

Nevertheless, there isn’t any readability on what he’ll do past the top of his present deal, and a transfer to different championships can’t be dominated out.

4-time Dakar winner Al-Attiyah feels Alonso has the urge for food for cross-country rallying and believes it could be attainable for any top-level driver to achieve the marathon as soon as they’ve sufficient expertise of tackling the terrain.

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“Nonetheless I push Fernando to have him once more in Dakar,” the Qatari driver stated when requested by Autosport when requested concerning the prospects of Alonso returning to the rally.

“I do know Fernando from F1 however I met him when he joined the crew in 2020.

“The crew requested me to assist train Fernando within the sand dunes. It was three days in Qatar and below 50C and it was a very superb job [by him]. He’s very, very gifted. 

“What we did for the primary time in Dakar, he confirmed the velocity. For this sort of race it’s essential have expertise, as a result of when you see the historical past of Dakar it’s essential have four-five-six years of expertise till you possibly can win. 

“However it was very nice to have Fernando. Nonetheless we’re speaking. We’re ready for him.”

#310 Toyota Gazoo Racing: Fernando Alonso, Marc Coma

Picture by: A.S.O.

Pressed additional if he thought Alonso may make a comeback, Al-Attiyah stated: “I feel so. He liked the Dakar, and I’m certain that perhaps after subsequent yr or in two years [he will come back]”

Al-Attiyah will hope to defend his title in subsequent yr’s Dakar, which can once more run fully in Saudi Arabia however over 14 phases as an alternative of 12.

Motion will kick off with the Prologue on thirty first December on the finish of this month, with the New Yr’s Day marking the beginning of the primary full stage.

Al-Attiyah will probably be joined within the manufacturing unit Toyota secure by Giniel de Villiers and Henk Lategan for what would be the forty fifth operating of the rally raid.

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