Alonso thinks his Toyota "didn't deserve to win" 24 Hours of Le Mans

17-06-2019 12:43
by Nicolás Quarles van Ufford
General
Alonso thinks his Toyota didn't deserve to win 24 Hours of Le Mans

Two-time Le Mans Fernando Alonso conceded yesterday's win at the Circuit de la Sarthe involved a good portion of luck, as the rivalling No. 7 Toyota had to make two pit stops at the end of the race that gave away the lead to the Spaniard's No. 8 car.

Alonso, who announced he won't be competing in the next WEC season that starts in August, has made it two Le Mans wins in two years with Toyota, with his first WEC championship being added this season as he competed in the full season.

After the race, Alonso conceded the No. 7 car was the quicker of the two Toyota's.

“This one is definitely completely unexpected,” he was quoted by sportscar365.

“We didn’t have the pace for 24 hours. We were not as quick as car No. 7, and definitely we didn’t deserve to win on-track. The luck today was a big factor as it is in motorsport.”

The No. 7, manned by Mike Conway, Jose Maria Lopez and Kamui Kobayashi, was the quicker car all race and led the field for most of the 24 hours, until two unscheduled pit stops gave the lead away. Tyre pressure issues caused the first stop, and then another stop was necessary as the wrong tyre was fitted during the initial stop. Kazuki Nakajima, who manned the No. 8 Toyota when this took place just over an hour before the end, took advantage and claimed the lead, and then the win.

“I remember watching on television when Kazuki stopped one minute before the end in 2016,” Alonso likens the problems of the No. 7 car to the incredibly dramatic finish of that year, when Nakajima's leading car stopped on the penultimate lap, gifting Porsche the win.

“I’ve experienced unfortunately those moments as well, fighting for the world championship with McLaren in 2007 and Ferrari in 2010 and 2012.

“When you arrive at the last moment and you are unable to finish the job, you feel bad and I feel sad.

“I feel for my teammates because they are not only teammates but friends as well. They deserve it today.”

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