McLaren: WEC could become 'huge distraction' for Alonso in 2018
|By Jonathan Noble||Friday, November 10th 2017, 20:19 GMT|
McLaren thinks a significant programme alongside Formula 1 would be a "huge distraction" for Fernando Alonso amid speculation of a Toyota World Endurance Championship and Le Mans 24 Hours deal.
Alonso is tipped to join Toyota for next week's WEC rookie test at Bahrain, as discussions continue over a potential assault with the Japanese manufacturer on next year's 24-hour race at Le Mans.
There have been suggestions that, in a bid to prepare himself for Le Mans, Alonso could take part in several WEC events that do not clash with F1 races in the early part of the year.
Alonso took part in this year's Indianapolis 500 after McLaren-Honda's awful start to 2017, but his preparation was limited to simulator work and a couple of tests.
McLaren racing director Eric Boullier thinks that the physical demands of committing to two top-line series may be too much.
"I don't think you can physically do two programmes, it is too complicated," he said.
"If you commit to two programmes it is a huge distraction.
"Doing Le Mans, or doing Indianapolis, or doing Daytona, why not? Because it is a one off.
"But doing more than this would definitely be a distraction from his main commitment which is F1."
Boullier knows that Alonso is eager to secure motor racing's unofficial triple crown of victories in the Monaco Grand Prix, the Indy 500 and Le Mans.
He thinks that McLaren's job is to give the Spaniard such a competitive car in F1 that his thoughts do not drift elsewhere.
"He said he is keen to do some races outside this triple crown, and there are case-by-case discussions," said Boullier when asked if Alonso could be released for some WEC events.
"Obviously his main and his first focus is F1 - and that has priority.
"We will do everything we can to give him a competitive car and if we do this he will not race anything else."
While in Brazil, Alonso has avoided stoking the speculation he is poised to drive an LMP1 car in Bahrain, or the prospect of Le Mans or any other WEC races next season.
"I'm here and nothing is going to happen over the next few days," he said at Interlagos, before adding about Le Mans: "We will see if this could be a possibility or not, but right now there's nothing yet."