It had been reported that Alonso had a seat fitting for Toyota recently, meaning it was likely he’d be doing the test for Toyota this weekend in Bahrain.
Although it’s been a pretty open secret, only now – the day before the test – has it been officially confirmed that Alonso will indeed to putting the TS050 Hybrid through its paces on Sunday.
He’ll be sharing the car with Sebastian Buemi, who’s fresh off the back of winning the last three races of the WEC season.
Toyota team president Hisatake Murata said:
We are very excited that Fernando will test our car. When he visited us in Cologne everyone who met him could sense his enthusiasm and passion for our sport; he is a true racer. We very much respect his interest in different forms of motorsport and it is a pleasure to offer him this chance to drive a hybrid LMP1 car. It will be interesting to hear his feedback on the TS050 Hybrid.”
It makes it seem pretty obvious that he’s going to be given a chance at Le Mans in 2018, and of course there’s the chance that he could actually drive in all the WEC races next year (apart from Fuji, which clashes with F1).
It’ll be interesting to see what he makes of modern LMP1 machinery. Expect plenty of comments about how it’s much more powerful than the Honda engine in his McLaren…