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Alonso: ‘Everyone is more relaxed and happy’ in IndyCar

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Having spent time in both the IndyCar and Formula 1 paddocks over the past month, Fernando Alonso has delivered his verdict on the varying atmospheres, pressures and expectations in the two series ahead of this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix.

Alonso skipped the Monaco Grand Prix in order to make his debut at the Indianapolis 500 two weeks ago, where he qualified fifth and ran up front for much of the race before retiring due to an engine failure.

One of the most entertaining images to come out of Alonso’s ‘500 odyssey was of the Spaniard traveling down Gasoline Alley on a skateboard.

While Alonso said he hadn’t broken out the skateboard before in the F1 paddock before as it was not allowed, it did lead him into an interesting comparison between the two environments.

“Well the skateboarding, I think here you are not allowed to bring those kind of things!” Alonso said.

“The whole atmosphere is just different there. Everyone is more relaxed, is happy. Even the way of events we had, everyone is proud of that race, of that event. They’ve been there for many years. Everyone that comes to the race, they are just proud to welcome them and they expect to have fun in that race.

“I don’t say that here is different, but here with years and you know with all the business that is around F1, everyone is trying to find some war or something you say or do that creates maybe a thing behind to more on the news. There it is just about 33 drivers doing the race and just enjoying race.

“Here it is more. Formula 1 is bigger in every sense, and because it is bigger, there are other things. But it’s in all kind of sports in happens. You are more relaxed because the environment is more relaxed.

“There is not the pressure and everything that Formula 1 has here. It is just different.”

Video highlights from Stage 13 of the Dakar Rally

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Friday’s Stage 13 of the 40th Dakar Rally went from San Juan to Cordoba to set up the concluding stage of the event.

The video highlights of Stage 13 will air on NBCSN on Saturday at 6:30 pm ET, but here are some of the highlights from Friday:

CARS

Nassar Al-Attiyah strengthened his hold on second with a stage win as defending winner Stephane Peterhansel crashed in the penultimate stage.

BIKES

Toby Price won his second stage of the 2018 Dakar, his ninth overall, while Matthias Walkner retained the lead ahead of the final stage.

TRUCKS

Eduard Nikolaev continued to make a case for his second consecutive Dakar win after an epic battle to capture Stage 13.

QUADS

Jeremias Gonzalez took Stage 13 of the quads, tightening his grip on third overall in the 2018 Dakar Rally.