Fernando Alonso’s Triple Crown Dream

By The Way - Weekly Columns


In my eyes, that may be a little too ambitious. I think to get a handful of podiums and several double points finishes over the course of the season will keep the fans happy. It’s never going to be an overnight turnaround. As a fan of the team since 1997, I’d be happy with anything other than a repeat of the latest Honda ‘era’. The future with Renault looks bright, the future looks papaya?

Obviously, McLaren fans will be hoping for a marked improvement in the upcoming season. Various members of the management team, including Zak Brown have said they would like to win a race in 2018.

To me, Alonso has made the best of a bad situation at times since the now failed McLaren Honda marriage of the past three seasons with some stellar performances along with driving the wheels of the past three cars, too.

At 36 years of age, Alonso is without doubt in the twilight of his career. He may only get one more F1 season, he may only get two more shots at Le Mans and one more shot at Indy in the next couple years if he wants to achieve everything he wants to before he’s 40.

In fact, in an edit to the original post, it emerged that the only round of the WEC (Fuji, Japan) that clashed with an F1 race (Austin, USGP) has been moved especially for Alonso which I think sets a very dangerous precedent indeed. And will no doubt upset a fair few drivers.

Strangely, thanks to the way the World Endurance Championship’s calendar has turned out, Alonso gets two shots at the famous 24 Hour race inside the same ‘super season’. Another positive, perhaps, is that the Endurance Championship and the F1 calendars run almost parallel to each other.

In late 2017, Alonso signed up to do the Daytona 24 Hour race in the US. Couple that with the rumours and then proof of a test with Toyota and it was obvious that Alonso was looking at Le Mans - rather than another shot at Indy - as his next target.

The Spanish ace has also had a go at the Indy 500, of course. In a McLaren-Honda-Andretti car powered by Honda, Alonso was at the front of the race for the majority of the running only to see his chance of winning, go up in smoke; a lot like his Honda engine.

One of those can be ticked off already - Monaco. Not only has Alonso won in the principality, he’s done it with two different teams in consecutive seasons (Renault in 2006 and McLaren in 2007) while also finishing a close second with Ferrari in 2011.

Graham Hill, Damon’s father is the only man to have completed motorsports’ coveted ‘Triple Crown’. The Triple Crown is when a driver has won the Monaco Grand Prix, The Indianapolis 500 and the 24 Hours at Le Mans.