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2018 Porsche Le Mans Deal “Not On the Table” for Alonso

Porsche discusses Alonso’s desire for Le Mans debut…

Photo: Vision Sport Agency

Photo: Vision Sport Agency

Porsche LMP1 team principal Andreas Seidl has dismissed the suggestion that two-time Formula 1 World Champion Fernando Alonso could join its lineup for Le Mans at 2018, saying there are “no options” with its current two-car squad.

Alonso recently announced his entry to this year’s Indianapolis 500 as part of his bid to complete the Triple Crown of Motorsport, which also includes the Monaco Grand Prix and Le Mans.

A report from Spanish newspaper Marca last month claimed that Alonso was in talks with Porsche regarding a Le Mans ride for 2018, but Seidl confirmed at Spa that this was not currently possible given the existing six-driver lineup.

“At the moment it’s not on the table. We only have two cars, and I do not see that changing for next year,” Seidl said. “With the six drivers we have, we are very very happy. And we plan long-term.

“So at the moment it is not something that is on the table. The topic is not available. It would have been easier in 2015 with the third car. We had talks there but it didn’t work out in the end.

“As I said at the moment there is no options available. We have six drivers that are very well in contract. We plan long-term. Always.”

Alonso first pursued a drive at Le Mans back in 2014 when he asked Ferrari, who he drove for in F1 to the end of that year, if he could race for its AF Corse factory team, only to be refused.

He did appear at the Circuit de la Sarthe as honorary starter, waving the flag to start the race.

Alonso’s 2015 talks with Porsche broke down when McLaren-Honda also blocked the move, but a recent change in management at the team has led to a more open-minded approach, as shown by the allowance for him to race in the Indy 500.

With a Porsche LMP1 drive unlikely, Toyota Gazoo Racing technical director Pascal Vasselon was also asked about the possibility of hiring Alonso for Le Mans next year.

“I think with a big discount in terms of salary! If he’s really looking only for winning…” Vasselon joked.

“If and when he will come to Le Mans, it will not be for the money. That’s for sure.”

John Dagys contributed to this report

Luke Smith is a British motorsport journalist who has served as NBC Sports’ lead Formula 1 writer since 2013, as well as working on its online sports car coverage.


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