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Monday, September 27, 2021

Racing F1 vehicles at Le Mans “may very well be enjoyable” with observe modifications

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Two-time Le Mans winner Alonso, a victor with Toyota in 2018 and 2019, did an indication run with an Alpine F1 automotive shortly earlier than the beginning of this yr’s occasion final Saturday.

He then stayed on to look at the beginning of the race as a visitor of the Alpine WEC crew and was accompanied by F1 team-mate Esteban Ocon after the Hungarian GP winner had sampled the observe in a GT4 automotive.

Alonso, who has extended his Alpine F1 contract to cover 2021, believes it gained’t take a lot to be alter the vehicles to swimsuit the venue, however concedes that the high-speed circuit would want modifications for apparent security causes.

Components 1 has solely staged a race on the observe as soon as earlier than, in 1967, when the race was gained by Jack Brabham. 

Talking on Thursday forward of the Belgian GP, Alonso described the expertise of driving the observe in an F1 automotive as “very particular”, though he didn’t full a full lap at pace.

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Relating to a possible fast F1 lap time, Alonso expects it could be considerably sooner than the 2021 24 hours pole of 3m23.9s set by Kamui Kobayashi, and even Kobayashi’s file lap of 3m14.79s from 2017.

“I believe the simulation says like one thing below three minutes,” he mentioned.

“However then you must execute the lap. And it was not that simple, as a result of truthfully with the F1 automotive, I felt the lengthy straights have been just a little bit uncommon for our tyres, our vehicles.

Fernando Alonso, Louis Rossi, Esteban Ocon, Alpine Pierre Fillon, ACO President

Photograph by: Alpine

“The braking factors after the lengthy straights have been a bit difficult as a result of the entrance tyres tried to lock up and issues like that. So if you happen to actually go for it, and also you push, it is going to be fairly worrying.

“So in a manner I used to be I used to be pleased that it was only a demo lap!”

Requested if F1 vehicles may at some point race on the circuit – as some followers urged after Saturday’s demo – Alonso mentioned that regardless of his considerations, it wouldn’t take a lot to adapt the vehicles themselves.

“It may very well be enjoyable for positive to race there, I believe it is not going to take an excessive amount of by way of preparation or engineering to go to tracks like Le Mans,” he mentioned.

“Even with very brief time, I believe our automotive was principally ready to do this demo lap. And it was near a race scenario.

“However I do not know, at these speeds and speaking about security requirements, we’ll in all probability have to vary few issues within the observe itself.

“Will probably be manner too quick, and manner too slender in a number of the sections on the straights. So doubtlessly it is going to require some modifications, extra on observe than principally from the F1 group.”

Fernando Alonso, Alpine F1

Fernando Alonso, Alpine F1

Photograph by: Alpine

In the meantime Ocon mentioned he loved his go to to the 24 Hours and, when requested by Autosport if he would contemplate competing sooner or later, admitted he hasn’t dominated out the chance.

“It was wonderful expertise,” he mentioned.

“I’ve been watching the race as a spectator after I was youthful, however I haven’t seen the way it was working from the within.

“So it was a fairly fascinating to be concerned, take a look, and speak to the drivers as properly who’re concerned within the race.

PLUS: The trait displayed by F1’s newest winner to earn Alpine’s trust

“It’s been enjoyable, and I had my first lap as properly of the observe in a GT4 automotive, so it’s been a mega expertise to be there and watch it from a special perspective.

“Sooner or later, by no means say by no means, I might say.

“I’m absolutely focussed on F1. My goal is to be world champion at some point, but when a chance comes, it’s a kind of that you would be able to’t say no to.”

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