NOVEMBER 4, 2022
Alonso eyes Verstappen for next Le Mans bid
Fernando Alonso says he would like to take on the fabled Le Mans 24 hour race with fellow double world champion Max Verstappen as his teammate.
The Spaniard caused a stir recently when he suggested that Verstappen's back-to-back title wins in 2021 and 2022 were worth more than some of Lewis Hamilton's dominant seven championships.
"He's a funny guy," Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff hit back.
"He makes headlines, and this sport is built on headlines. They are both great world champions," the Austrian insisted.
"Alonso enjoys that sort of thing, but I don't think it's bothering Lewis one millimetre."
Nonetheless, 41-year-old Alonso makes little effort to hide his greater affection for Dutchman Verstappen, 25, compared to his former McLaren nemesis Hamilton.
"I know that Max wants to do some endurance one day and that racing the Le Mans 24 Hours would appeal to him," Alonso told the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf.
"I'm certainly open to doing that together. I think we should give this idea a shot if we can drive for a competitive team."
He is less keen on adding Verstappen's father Jos as a second teammate.
"At the moment I prefer Max," said Alonso, a two-time Le Mans winner and former world endurance champion. "But I also have a lot of respect for Jos.
"Maybe he can develop the role of team manager."
With Verstappen's second title wrapped up so dominantly, many are wondering if the Red Bull driver can now target the seven titles held by Hamilton and Michael Schumacher.
"It will be difficult for him to get to the seven titles," Alonso, whose two titles were achieved back to back in 2005 and 2006, said.
"Certainly Max has the talent to get there, but you have to have a car that is very competitive for many years. And you never have that guarantee," he said.
"At the moment it's easy. Everything indicates that Red Bull will dominate in the coming years - but we don't know for sure. Let's see if Max has that luck."