Alonso Says Toyota Doesn’t Deserve Extra Impediments in WEC
Following several Equivalence of Technology (EoT) changes being made to the Toyota TS050 Hybrid ahead of the 6 Hours of Fuji endurance race last weekend, and during the event itself, Fernando Alonso says the changes, which aim to reduce Toyota’s performance relative to other LMP1 teams, are misguided.
Toyota has so far dominated every WEC race in the 2018-19 super season, but the two-time Formula One champion believes too many people are misreading what they believe to be a pace advantage for the Japanese outfit.
“People are always talking about Toyota’s dominance, but SMP and Rebellion were doing the same times as us when they had a clear lap,” Alonso said. “To have a car that’s been developed for four months doing the same times as a Toyota with 10 years of development is unfair, if we want to call it that, but they nailed it.”
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Alonso finished second in the #8 Toyota at the 6 Hours of Fuji, behind the #7 sister car and ahead of the third-placed #1 Rebellion, which spent about a minute and a half more than the winning Toyota in the pits.
“They lose three or four minutes more than us in the pitstops during the six hours, and then when they finish three or four laps behind, it looks as if the Toyotas are racing alone,” Alonso protested. “But that’s the result of a race that’s perfectly executed.”
Hisatake Murata, head of the Toyota LMP1 team, echoed Alonso’s sentiments when asked what he thought of the strength of the competing non-hybrid teams. “It is true that we are getting considerably closer when we look at this race to the LMP1 privateers, which weigh less and have more fuel available to them,” adding that over one lap, they are quite close to Toyota.
“But endurance races are not decided by one lap. And because the regulations do not restrict our ability to keep our fighting strength steady for six hours, that difference is four laps.”