Dakar Rally champion wants other F1 drivers such as Button to join Fernando Alonso

11-01-2020 16:10
by Bevan Youl
F1 News
Dakar Rally champion wants other F1 drivers such as Button to join Fernando Alonso

Nasser Al-Attiyah, current reigning Dakar Rally champion, has said he expects Fernando Alonso to make a return to the competition next year after impressing, wanting him to bring along other Formula 1 drivers such as Jenson Button.

Alonso is taking part in his first Dakar Rally with the Toyota setup led by Al-Attiyah and has impressed with his pace to rally-raid regulars.
A two-hour delay for repairs on the second day sees the Spaniard 16th in the overall classification after the first half after finishing ahead of Al-Attiyah’s Toyota Gazoo teammates Giniel de Villiers and Bernhard ten Brinke, something that caught the Qatar drivers eye.
"A really good week," Al-Attiyah said of Alonso as quoted by Motorsport.com.

"Only one day that was really bad luck for him, but if you see the performance, really, today he surprised me - much better than Giniel, much better than ten Brinke.

"For a first Dakar... I know he's a really tough guy, he's learning. This is good because it means next year he will do Dakar."

Al-Attiyah wouldn’t expect Alonso wo win should he return to Dakar for 2021 but would like to see other F1 drivers take part.

In particular the Spaniards former McLaren teammate Jenson Button who took part in the Baja 1000 in Mexico last month.

"Winner? I don't know, you need to have time. You need to have really good experience,” he added.

"I am sure he will try, and if he finishes top three or top five will be good.

"We need him. I am sure he will bring more Formula 1 drivers, you know? Maybe Jenson Button, why not?

"I see him [Button] in Baja 1000 in Mexico and he did the race, and I think why not, he can do Dakar."

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