Brown: We’ve created a monster – a racing monster!

Fernando Alonso

Fernando Alonso has confirmed he will be racing at the iconic Daytona 24 Hours race in January, after which McLaren chief Zak Brown declared that they have created a “racing monster” with the Spaniard.

Speaking to Sky Sport, Brown explained how the Daytona project came to be, “We’d had some light conversations, we talk about different racing all the time, and I was with Fernando and Luis [Garcia Abad] his manager and he said: I want to do Daytona.”

“I’m kind of getting used to it after Indy! I turned around to Luis and said: he’s serious isn’t he? And he said: oh yeah. So I didn’t have to ask twice.”

Brown then said with a smile, “We’ve created a monster – a racing monster!”

Alonso makes no secret of the fact that he is chasing the elusive ‘Triple Crown’ which requires that a driver wins the Indianapolis 500, the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Monaco Grand Prix during the course of his career. Only the late Graham Hill has achieved this accolade to date.

Alonso has ticked one of the three boxes – he won the Monaco Grand Prix in 2006 and 2007 – and came close when leading the 2017 Indianapolis 500, as a rookie, before his engine expired. He intends to return to the Brickyard, at some point, to finish the business.

The Le Mans 24 Hours is also on his radar and many believe that the Daytona foray is a prelude to a debut at the legendary endurance race, for the Spaniard, with Toyota next year.

Brown explained, “Clearly he has got an interest in Le Mans and wants to go back to Indy.”

“I was a little surprised in how definitive it was [about Daytona] but the way Fernando works is he thinks things through quite a bit and then he makes a decision and it’s clear he had given a lot more thought to it than I anticipated.”

“When he said he wanted to do it he was very definitive,” added the McLaren team chief who also owns United Autosports which will field the Ligier JS P217 for whom Alonso will drive at the endurance race in Florida.

Big Question: Is Fernando’s quest for the Triple Crown a realistic venture?