Monday 21 November 2016

FIA WEC: Did Alonso just hint at a switch to the WEC in the future ?

Yesterday evening at the FIA WEC end of season awards ceremony, the retiring Mark Webber was celebrated by the whole WEC paddock.

Webber, who finished his last race on the podium last Saturday, was given the FIA WEC Excellence award. An appreciation for his whole racing career and 3 fantastic years in the World Endurance Championship, giving him the drivers title in 2015 and the manufacturers titles in 2015 and 2016.

© RIP/Arne Simons
In a video, Andreas Seidl, Brendon Hartley, David Coulthard, Alex Wurz, Jenson Button, Fernando Alonso Daniel Ricciardo and Timo Bernhard had a farewell message for the Aussie. The message from Alonso stood out, and might have given a hint to the future of the Spanish driver whose contract ends at McLaren by the end of next season.

This is literally what Alonso had to say to Webber : "You've had a fantastic career, an then now all your success with Porsche. You didn't wait for me there, because it could be nice. But I think you will be around so I will ask you many things when I join your adventure. You're a really great man, and from all my heart, all the best".

For the first time Alonso really spoke out about his future and a possible switch to the World Endurance Championship after his active F1 career. In 2014 Alonso was a guest at Le Mans and waived the green flag for the start of the race. Last year he was a well sollicited guest in the Bahrain paddock at the final race of the season. 

Will we see Alonso in a Porsche 919 hybrid in 2018 ?  And will other drivers join him from the F1 paddock ... at least two have already hinted at a new future in endurance racing. 

Kristof Vermeulen.