Montreal, Canada - Fernando Alonso headed to Le Mans on Sunday hoping for a much better 24 hours in France next weekend than anything Canada could offer him in his milestone 300th Formula One grand prix.
The former double world champion retired his McLaren for the second consecutive race while running in a points-scoring position. Without a Formula One victory in five years, and with a team that has not won since 2012 and is still struggling to get anywhere close to its glory years, Alonso was not about to dwell much on Montreal.
"Le Mans," he said when asked after Sunday's race what he wanted to talk about. "I’m flying tonight to Le Mans and from tomorrow it’s another experience there and hopefully a good race for us. We are also leading the World Endurance Championship after the race in Spa and we are definitely focused on that right now after the retirement of today."
He will be driving for Toyota at Le Mans, the only major manufacturer in the top LMP1 category of the French sportscar classic, sharing a car with Switzerland's Sebastien Buemi and Japan's Kazuki Nakajima. Alonso set the fastest lap in official testing a week ago, after winning on his debut in Belgium, and will be back in the car for qualifying on Wednesday and Thursday at the Sarthe circuit.
On Sunday he had been fighting for points when an exhaust problem forced him to retire on lap 41. McLaren is fifth overall in the standings, and has fallen further behind fourth-placed Renault.
"It’s sad, frustrating and I’m disappointed with this result. We weren’t competitive this weekend," Alonso said. "We need to find more performance in the car and a way to become competitive."Reuters