Fernando Alonso ending WEC career for 'new motorsport challenges'
'New motorsport adventures' await diversifying Alonso as he bids to sign off from World Endurance with a championship title
By James Galloway
Last Updated: 01/05/19 10:07am
Fernando Alonso will stop competing in the World Endurance Championship after June's Le Mans 24 Hours to take on "new motorsport challenges".
Alonso started competing in the WEC with Toyota during what stands as his final season of F1 last year and won the 2018 edition of the Le Mans 24 Hours, completing the second leg of his Monaco-Le Mans-Indianapolis triple crown bid.
Since stepping away from F1, the two-time world champion has diversified his motorsport activities and, in addition to completing the WEC 'super-season, he will also attempt to win the Indy 500 at the second attempt with a McLaren entry on May 26.
But he has announced that he will not continue his WEC career beyond June's Le Mans 24 Hours and instead "explore new motorsport adventures" within the Toyota stable. He recently tested their Dakar Rally car in South Africa.
Alonso and his team-mates lead the overall WEC standings ahead the final two rounds of the 2018-19 season at Spa and Le Mans.
"Winning Le Mans is one of the highlights of my career as part of my Triple Crown challenge and I will always remember that victory which we achieved together as a team last year.
"Now is a good time to take on new challenges and there are many interesting opportunities to explore within Toyota Gazoo Racing. I wish Brendon all the best for next season and I would like to thank all the team members for the big effort they continue to make to achieve success in WEC.
Brendon Hartley, the former Toro Rosso F1 driver and two-time WEC champion with Porsche, will replace Alonso in the two-car line from next season. Hartley also serves as a Ferrari simulator driver.
Could Alonso still return to F1?
The Spaniard has continued to tantalisingly keep the door open to a possible F1 return in future.
He remains a McLaren ambassador and linked to the team through their IndyCar project, while he tested their 2019 F1 car at the post-Bahrain test in April.
"I'm not thinking on that  at the moment," he told Sky Sports earlier this year.
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