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.

Santino Ferrucci will drive No. 14 for AJ Foyt Racing full time in 2023 IndyCar season

Santino Ferrucci AJ Foyt
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Santino Ferrucci will return to full-time racing in the NTT IndyCar Series next season, joining AJ Foyt Racing.

Ferrucci had made eight IndyCar starts with three teams since his last full-time season in 2020 while also racing part time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series this year.

He will drive the storied No. 14 Dallara-Chevrolet for four-time Indy 500 winner A.J. Foyt’s team, which will field the car from its Waller, Texas headquarters.

“It’s incredibly exciting to be back in the INDYCAR Series full time,” Ferrucci said in a team release. “Being a part-time driver over the last two years has been hard for me, personally. I’m a race car driver, and I want to compete. Working with different teams has been exciting, and I’m proud that no matter which car I’ve raced, I’ve always shown speed and consistency. I couldn’t be more excited to join AJ Foyt Racing in the 14 Chevy. I can’t wait to make the best of it.”

Ferrucci, 24, had finished a career-best fourth in IndyCar four times, including the 104th Indy 500 in 2020. He was the 2019 Indy 500 rookie of the year with a sixth.

In nine Xfinity starts since 2021, Ferrucci has a career-best finish of 13th at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

“I am thrilled to welcome Santino to the team,” Larry Foyt said in a release. “He’s shown a knack for getting toward the front of the field, and I think he is a racer who moves forward on race day. A.J. sees the fire in him and has enjoyed their meetings together. I think Santino’s experience will help his rookie teammate as well, so he is a great addition to our roster.”

Ferrucci will be teamed at AJ Foyt Racing with Benjamin Pedersen, who finished fifth in the 2022 Indy Lights standings. The team has yet to specify the number for Pedersen’s entry, which will be fielded out of its Indianapolis race shop.

Foyt’s two full-time drivers last season were Dalton Kellett and Kyle Kirkwood, who is moving to Andretti Autosport.