Alonso: I want to finish my career at Le Mans

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Fernando Alonso has revealed that he wants to finish his motor racing career at Le Mans once he has retired from Formula 1.

The two-time F1 world champion has raced for Ferrari since 2010, and the Italian marque has recently been linked with a return to the premier LMP1 class at the world’s most famous endurance race.

Whether Ferrari is racing in the series or not, the Spaniard explained to NBCSN’s Will Buxton today that he plans to make a move into endurance racing once his time in F1 is up, having enjoyed the honor of starting this year’s race.

“It was a good experience,” Alonso explained. “It was a lot of passion in the race, a lot of people in the paddock, 3,000 people which is quite a lot of people when you are not anaonymous.

“It’s a good experience, a good race, and obviously to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans means a lot for any driver, and hopefully I will race there.”

Alonso said with some certainty that he will race at the Circuit de la Sarthe one day, but only once his F1 career is over.

“I will, that’s 100%. I need to wait until I finish Formula 1 probably because it requires some tests, some training, some dedication.

“I’m a person that if I do something, I do 100%, I don’t do 50-50, so first I will try to do some more years in Formula 1, try to win championships, try to help Ferrari, and then one day, of course, I cannot be seated at home in the sofa, so endurance is a category that you can race when you’re a bit older with not big problems, and that will be my intention.”

Quite whether this will be with Ferrari, Alonso is unsure. However, he did confirm that talks have been held with Ferrari president, Luca di Montezemolo, about re-entering LMP1 alongside Porsche, Audi, Toyota and – as of 2015 – Nissan.

“Maybe, to be honest, with President Montezemolo, we talk about it many times about this matter because he is very enthusiastic about the Le Mans race,” Alonso said. “He enjoys a lot the win of the 458 with [Giancarlo ]Fisichella, with [Gianmaria] Bruni this year.

“I know that there is some thinking about coming back with a big car, but the same as me, it’s not in the short term, because now we need to put in place the F1 project and we need to win here.”

Many Formula 1 drivers have moved into endurance racing once their F1 careers are up. Both Fisichella and Bruni used to race in F1, but most famously, Mark Webber (a good friend of Alonso) left the sport at the end of last season to join Porsche, and has since enjoyed a new lease of life in his racing career.

For now, his focus may lie with F1, but Alonso is clearly having thoughts about life after his career with in single seaters.

Racing world reacts to Danica Patrick’s Daytona, Indy double news

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Here’s a sampling of quotes and social media reaction to Danica Patrick’s news announced earlier Friday that this would be her last full-time season as a driver, and that she’ll race in the Daytona 500 and Indianapolis 500 only in 2018.

This ends a full-time stretch in the top flights of NASCAR and IndyCar. She was in NASCAR from 2012 through 2017, and IndyCar from 2005 through 2011.

Her’s her own post on Twitter and Instagram.

Well…. 2018 Daytona 500 and Indy 500 here I come. 🙌🏼

A post shared by Danica Patrick (@danicapatrick) on

IMS President J. Douglas Boles

“We’re glad Danica plans to return to the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil next May,” IMS President J. Douglas Boles said. “Her final career start will make what’s already shaping up to be a terrific Month of May even more interesting for our fans.

“It’s also fitting that Danica is wrapping up her career at the place and in the race where she became a household name and captured the world’s attention in 2005 – the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Indianapolis 500. We’re looking forward to seeing her back in an Indy car next May alongside all of the tremendous drivers of the Verizon IndyCar Series.”

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