After having accumulated a good amount of kilometers on the Toyota TS050 HYBRID that you will use in the World Endurance, including 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Spanish Fernando Alonso He was in awe of the technology of the Japanese prototype. Something that is not minor considering that he himself is one of the stars of Formula 1, a category of which he was champion in 2005 and 2006.
“For fuel savings and performance, hybrid technology is practically unbeatable. We are supposed to be the benchmark car and if we are we are going to enjoy it, to play the races without mistakes on our part to take advantage of that circumstance ”, explained Alonso, who will have the Cordovan as a teammate José María López.
The brand new Toyota driver explained that the TS050 HYBRID is a different car than the ones he has driven so far. "You try to adapt to it and get the most out of it", said Nano, who pointed out that his adaptation to the Toyota GAZOO Racing team is being very simple thanks to the years of work of the brand in this type of competition. "Toyota has all the experience of these years and a group of pilots with a lot of experience as well and several years in the WEC, so the adaptation that it can have is much easier with this structure behind it."
Compared to an F-1 car, the Toyota TS050 HYBRID that Alonso will take at Le Mans and at the rest of the WEC circuits is distinguished by a greater number of driver assistance systems. This is how the Oviedo pilot explained it: “They are different cars. The biggest difference is all-wheel drive, which changes the way you drive. There is a greater freedom in the different systems of the car than what exists in the F-1, as for example in the traction control and other assistance devices, which are highly developed here and are prohibited in the F-1 ”.
For the Spaniard, the TS050 HYBRID is a very fun car to drive. “You leave your normal routine and the sensations that you normally have because you drive a vehicle with different benefits, many of them extreme. Just like in the kart you have different sensations because you go very low, there is no suspension, you notice any irregularity in the body, it is very physical… Here you have the incredible sensation of acceleration. The hybrid system, the traction control, the four-wheel drive, the accelerations are spectacular and that's a lot of fun ”.
With regard to Toyota's work dynamics, compared to other structures where it has had a place throughout its sporting campaign, the Spaniard emphasized the differences in the type of racing. “The way of working is different because the way of facing the competences is different. Here you are looking for strength and total reliability. Not regardless of the benefits, but they are a second priority. Therefore, the tests are focused on endurance, testing different components of the car and pushing them to the limit. And the pilot too. The way you have to face each turn is different from the F-1. That is why the work method and the preparation is different ”.
When talking about endurance tests, it is inevitable to refer to the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans. For Alonso, Toyota's real challenge at Le Mans will be the test itself, beyond the potential rivals. “The challenge is Toyota against Le Mans, not against the rivals since the race itself puts you on the limit, the car, the team, the mechanics, the drivers ... There are as many variants in a 24-hour race as Le Mans that for Toyota, right now, more than being aware of the rivals and the other LMP1 and what they can do, the real challenge is the competition itself and that is the greatness of this project "He said.
Alonso considers that having taken the step of signing for Toyota to try to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the WEC is a challenge. “It is a challenge, maybe brave. But I am sure that I am part of the best team, something that gives me more security. There is much to gain, and perhaps much to lose, but when there is something to gain it is already worth it ”, Indian. “I am clear that I will also be at Le Mans in 2019 because the objective is not only to win there but to be world endurance champion and for that you must run all eight races. Confirmed that I am going to do all of them ”, culminated
That's how excited Fernando Alonso is, this man who decided to take a little distance from the world of Formula 1 to feel like a real driver.