'I was relieved Alonso didn't win Dakar'

26-01-2020 10:06
by Nicolás Quarles van Ufford
General
'I was relieved Alonso didn't win Dakar'

IndyCar driver Alexander Rossi admitted he was "relieved" Fernando Alonso didn't win the Dakar Rally on his first try, as it shows even the most talented drivers in the world cannot jump from one racing class to another and win without any experience.

Like Alonso, Rossi has been a busy man dabbling in many racing classes, with the American competing in many endurance races since the end of the 2019 IndyCar season.

Besides the 24 Hours of Daytona he's driving this weekend, the 28-year-old has competed in Supercars at Bathurst in Australia and done the Baja 1000. He said he was close to joining Alonso at Dakar this year as well but couldn't because his schedule didn't allow it.

“I pay attention now [to Alonso] because it’s funny, we’re kind of doing the same things,” Rossi, a former F1 driver, told RACER.

“I paid very close attention to what he did at Dakar. I was actually asked to do it at one point, but it didn’t work out timing-wise for this year. But I will do it in the next three to four years, I think.”

Alonso showed flashes of brilliance at Dakar but ultimately fell way short to winning the whole thing, with his fellow countryman Carlos Sainz completing the rally almost five hours quicker. While Alonso's pace on good days was undeniable, his lack of experience perhaps showed as his Toyota needed fixing on multiple occasions, costing him valuable time. For the right reasons, Rossi is happy the two-time F1 world champion didn't win Dakar.

“I was kind of relieved he didn’t [win] because it just shows that yes, he is one of the best racing drivers in the world, but that doesn’t mean that you can just go into a category where these guys have been doing it for their entire lives and just show up and beat them. That doesn’t really exist."

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