Fernando Alonso unconcerned by starting position

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Fernando Alonso has explained how he is less concerned about an accident starting P9 for the Belgian Grand Prix tomorrow following the incident at the beginning of last year’s race at Spa-Francorchamps.

In 2012, Alonso had started sixth but became caught up in a large accident at turn one caused by Romain Grosjean. The incident ended the race for Grosjean, Alonso, Sergio Perez, Pastor Maldonado and Lewis Hamilton, with the culprit also receiving a one race ban for his misdemeanour. Despite being further back in the pack this year, Alonso is less worried about a repeat of this incident.

“It would be more of a problem if we started fourth, third, second,” the Spaniard said after qualifying. “This is the position that I arrived last year at the first corner, more of a problem then.

“Starting ninth, maybe I can take it a little bit more easier and gain the positions that the people gained last year through our accident.”

However, Alonso did call on his colleagues to be sensible through the first corner, with the tight La Source hairpin being a hotspot for accidents.

“Hopefully there is no accident tomorrow, we can have a clean race. The first corner here is extremely tight, there is always some contact, there is always some front nose that’s flying away. You don’t do Eau Rouge after that.”

Ferrari endured another disappointing qualifying session with Alonso finishing ninth, one place ahead of his teammate Felipe Massa. The rain shower during Q3 hindered many teams, but Mercedes and Red Bull managed to time their laps perfectly in order to make the most of the change in the weather, and subsequently locked out the front row. However, Ferrari proved in practice that they are in the running this weekend, and Alonso will be hoping to produce another good performance at Spa tomorrow in order to keep his championship hopes alive.

Kanaan, Dixon to rejoin Chip Ganassi Le Mans effort

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Both Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan will be rejoining Ford Chip Ganassi Racing as part of their four-car armada at the 2018 24 Hours of Le Mans, the team revealed late last week. Both drivers contested the event last year, with Dixon in the No. 69 entry – finishing seventh in the GTE Pro class – while Kanaan replaced an injured Sebastien Bourdais in the No. 68 – finishing sixth in GTE Pro.

For Kanaan, this also represents a return to the Chip Ganassi organization, with which he contested the Verizon IndyCar Series from 2014 to 2017 before departing for A.J. Foyt Racing in 2018.

Kanaan will join Andy Priaulx and Harry Tincknell in the No. 67, while Dixon will reunite with Ryan Briscoe and Richard Westbrook, the three drivers having won the Rolex 24 at Daytona in January, in the No. 69.

Stefan Mücke, Olivier Pla, and Billy Johnson will share the No. 66 entry, with Joey Hand, Dirk Müller, and Sebastien Bourdais in the No. 68.

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