Mark Webber Calls Fernando Alonso's Daytona 24 Effort A "Mistake"
Much has been made of Fernando Alonso's desire to race in multiple disciplines while also being an active F1 driver, much of it very positive. Personally I think it is a great thing. To many things have become uber specialized these days and it is refreshing to see someone buck the trend. Former F1 star and WEC LMP1 Champion Mark Webber sees things differently.
Italian outlet Automoto asked Webber his thoughts on Alonso's racing Prototypes and F1 at the same time. "No, it's a mistake. They are two totally different things that both absorb a lot of mental energy. I think if you're doing F1 you can't afford distractions, is so specific that it doesn't allow room."
Webber thinks Alonso winning Daytona would be an awesome feat but questions what the Spaniard would gain from the experience. "If he wins it would be amazing," Webber said. "He's a driver with talent unlike almost anyone else in the world. It would be fantastic, but it will not give him anything."
It was pointed out to Webber that Nico Hulkenberg won Le Mans with Porsche while also racing full time with Force India. "That was with a second-rate team in F1. The pressures are different. He was also with the top Le Mans team and that simplified things a lot."
If anyone would know the unique requirements for racing in F1 and a Prototype it would be Webber but I am not entirely certain what Webber is on about here. One of the defining characteristics of the Daytona 24 is the multiple drivers from different disciplines participating in the race. Almost to a man they describe the experience as being very different from what they're used to. However, the experience is good to start the season, get them back in a competitive state of mind.
While it is quite different to Formula 1 IMSA presents different challenges. The mental focus and endurance taxes even the world's greatest drivers. To say that Alonso will gain nothing from the experience is short sighted in my opinion.