Fernando Alonso Racing will be born when it is made official tomorrow, the double Formula 1 World Champion has put together a consortium including Toyota to tackle the F1 World Championship in 2021.
Alonso, who will test for McLaren in Bahrain tomorrow and Wednesday, along with Toyota brass will make the new project public at the circuit during the lunch break.
The Alonso-Toyota F1 Project codenamed FAR.T01 is already underway with the Spaniard undergoing a secret test at Suzuka with the Toyota F1 engine strapped to a Super Formula chassis. Alonso was delighted with the power and torque, setting a time only half a second shy of the F1 lap record at the Japanese Grand Prix venue.
Alonso will drive for the first two years, and thereafter will become full-time team principal. Until then Pedro de la Rosa will become a team principal from now and until his freind takes over at the end of 2023.
The project has apparently been brewing since last year but gathered steam when Alonso walked out on F1 last year to pursue alternative racing experiences and has since won the Daytona 24-Hours and the WEC Sebring round.
In May he will tackle the Indy 500 with McLaren and after that will jet to Japan for the first seat fitting for the first fully blown F1 chassis to get mileage on the power unit which will be homologated in due course.
The second seat is likely to go to a Japanese driver with Kazuki Nakajima, Alonso’s teammate in the Toyota Gazoo team, high on the list while Sebastien Buemi will be drafted in as a test driver and reserve.
Toyota will disband the WEC operation in 2020 and the entire organisation will focus on the FAR.T01 project. The team will be based in Cologne.
Word is Alonso has convinced legendary F1 designer Gordon Murray to head the technical side, while a number of former F1 heavy hitters are being lined up.
The Spaniard’s longtime confidante and advisor, Flavio Briatore is set for a commercial role within the team while Bernie Ecclestone has been penned in as a special consultant.
Although backing will come from Toyota and Alonso’s coffers, talk in Spain is that Santander a priming to return to the top flight and this project seems built for their marketing needs.
Lunchtime tomorrow in Bahrain, Alonso and Toyota big brass will reveal all.