In common lingo, if F1 is about speed, the World Endurance Championship is about resolve. But put racing shoes on and the World Endurance Championship, true to its DNA, delivers a culmination of various factors that test a driver’s true potential. The simple unbent rule puts to focus an alignment of a driver’s resolve and obduracy. And who better to represent the rare combination other than Fernando Alonso?
There’s always an unbridled excitement when Fernando Alonso sits inside a racing car. And it becomes incredibly palpable when he wins races. Although one mustn’t forget the term victory and Fernando Alonso haven’t been used in the same sentence since past 5 years in motor racing. So it was only ideal that the enigmatic Spaniard castigated his vague history of winless runs at possibly one of the most enticing racing tracks and in arguably the best format for testing his character. Therefore, a win at Spa Francorchamps in his debut run at the World Endurance Championship could be termed a sweet vindication.
The spectacle presents the Fernando Alonso we are so accustomed to celebrating. Albeit the one who’d disappeared somewhere thanks to lackluster cars and impossible to handle machines that were propelled more by mediocrity than by a dependable power unit.
In his perfect star to May, the McLaren F1 driver teamed up with former F1 drivers Kazuki Nakajima Sebastian Buemi to rule at Spa Francorchamps.
6 hours of constant racing and one enigmatic team on top- Alonso’s Belgian triumph, his first at World Endurance Championship speaks a thing or two about his character. He’s been constantly grappling with challenges thus far since his switch to McLaren and after his debut win with Toyota in their S050 Hybrid- seems ever capable to fight.
Don’t discount Alonso just yet
But Alonso’s journey of late hasn’t been the easiest, one must remember. Someone so used to being a frontrunner to win GPs and ending up (ever since his move to McLaren) being a back-marker, hasn’t succumbed to the changing vagaries of time. And in Alonso’s ebb, the changes have been insufferable, for lack of a better word. Forgetful 2017 and 2016 seasons with a recalcitrant McLaren meant that life was only going to be tougher in the seasons ahead. Just then, perhaps with an interjection of fate, the McLaren partnership with a loathsome Honda engine ended and there came Renault into the picture.
This, it has to be said has shown brightly on El Nino’s results. The same driver who by this time had registered 3 DNFs in the previous season, has driven home 28 points, including a best-place finish of P5 at Baku.
In cracking up a great race at the picturesque Ardennes in Belgium, Alonso’s Toyota TS050 hybrid finished just 1.444 seconds ahead of the second Toyota outfit.
Staring at scaling a rare peak
Going forward in 2018, there’s going to be no stopping Fernando Alonso. Having not competed at Le Mans, a new hope and platform where the dogged driver hopes to race, Alonso’s current confidence having won 6 hours of Spa Francorchamps (WEC) is on a new level.
So far, the only driver to have secured a triple crown- a rarity one of a kind- to have won Monaco Grand Prix, Le Mans and the Indy 500 is Britain’s legend Graham Hill. Alonso, with Le Mans in sight, plans to secure the rare troika, having raced at Indy 500 earlier where despite an engine failure his race ended prematurely, his feisty efforts earned him the ‘rookie of the year’ award.