Alonso hails "impressive" Norris for Daytona speed

Herbert Rhodes
January 31, 2018

Alonso began his bid to win the "triple crown of motorsport" by entering last year's Indianapolis 500, and has long set his sights on racing at Le Mans, with the two events joining the Monaco Grand Prix in making up the unofficial title.

"I have a positive feeling about this weekend's race and the whole event, I really did enjoy this a lot", said Alonso.

"I didn't know what position I was in, it was only when I came into the pits I saw I was P1", Norris said of his opening stint. But it's not only on my side, the decision. "As I said, I experienced things the whole event that was new for me, and next time I jump in a prototype vehicle, closed cockpit, I know what is the feeling".

"I think at night when we switched to wet tyres we were fifth, one minute behind the leader, and then we switched to slick tyres again in damp conditions, Lando driving, and we were 27 seconds behind the leaders". Equally important is the confidence that nothing detracts from our number one goal of Formula 1.

But the vehicle slipped from contention when Hanson suffered a puncture later in the night.

However, Norris' charge ultimately proved fruitless; Alonso suffered a major brake problem, consigning the vehicle to the pits for lengthy repairs.

As Norris brought the No.23 auto home P13 in class, 90 laps down in total, there was better fortune for the sister United Autosports vehicle (No.32) driven by Will Owen, Hugo de Sadeleer and ex-Formula 1 drivers Paul di Resta and Bruno Senna. And then I think it's not that I was concerned but we were not fast.

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Having been introduced to the spectators in attendance at the "roval" circuit, Alonso walked to the grid flanked by Brown, as the team prepared its two cars for the 24-hour assault.

Former Sauber driver Felipe Nasr had a very strong race in the No.31 Cadillac, finishing on the podium in second behind the winning Cadillac team of Joao Barbosa, Felipe Albuquerque and Christian Fittipaldi, nephew of two-time World Champion and Indy 500 victor, Emmerson.

He added: "On the brakes you are a little bit scared, no doubt".

"I love driving and doing this for eight or nine hours in a race is great!"

Alonso also confirmed he would be interested in returning to the Rolex 24 in the future, identifying it as a good way to keep sharp during the F1 off-season.

"So even in wet conditions, first time in prototype auto, first time at Daytona, first time on Continental tyres, he recovered 33 seconds in 20 laps, something like that".

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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