French Grand Prix – McLaren’s Fernando Alonso says he’s hopeful of a good result as he gets straight back to work on his F1 duties.
Alonso heads to Paul Ricard with McLaren this weekend, riding a wave of elation having claimed his maiden Le Mans 24 Hours win with his Toyota LMP1 WEC teammates Sebastien Buemi & Kazuki Nakajima. Remaining in France for his second consecutive race weekend, the first of F1’s maiden triple header, Alonso is likely to be back to earth with a bump as he re-adjusts to a car that is, for the moment, mired in the midfield at best.
“From what we do know of the circuit, it’ll be a tough race for the cars and drivers, and a tricky technical challenge to set the cars up.” said Alonso as F1 returns to Paul Ricard for the first time since 1990.
France has been off the calendar since 2008, when Magny-Cours held its last Grand Prix. With Renault back in the fold as a works manufacturer team, as well as representation from Romain Grosjean, Esteban Ocon & Charles Leclerc, the decision was made last year to return to one of F1’s traditional homes, France having held the first ‘Grand Prix’ back in 1906.
“It does look like there are a few overtaking opportunities though, which should hopefully provide some exciting racing. After a couple of disappointing weekends, I hope we can bounce back in France with a more positive result.”
“It’s not often we get to drive on new tracks, or tracks that are new for most of us but already have a strong legacy behind them, so after my Le Mans experience it’s great to be staying in France and heading to Paul Ricard.” continued Alonso.
With Alonso lying 7th in the F1 Driver’s Championship while leading the WEC points standings with his team, he was quick to point out that his focus still remains on his McLaren leadership role in Formula 1:
“Winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans still feels like a dream and it was an incredible week. It’s finally sinking in now and I’m already looking forward to getting back in my car and going racing again.”