Alonso, Nakajima and Buemi secure second Le Mans win for Toyota

2019 F1 Season

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Toyota’s LMP1-H cars have won a second 1-2 finish at Le Mans – but under some controversy about their order, after a forced pit stop exchanged the lead with only one hour to go.

Early drama hit the #3 Rebellion LMP1, spinning out of a non-hybrid lead with a vigorous snap across the track and removing much of the car’s front bodywork. Laurent managed to get it back to the pits but hope of catching SMP cars faded ever more rapidly with a subsequent tyre-related penalty.

Comparatively, the #3 was, however, faring better than its sister car the #1 Rebellion which continued to suffer technical issues seem in qualifying and Free Practice at Le Mans, dipping in and out of the pits for much of the first hours of the race.

A severe crash between the #88 Dempsey-Proton GT Am car and the #64 GT Pro Corvette saw the Corvette taken out of the race – then controversially penalised for the collision, as Fassler was taken to the medical centre and #88 driver Satoshi Hoshino apologised to the Corvette team.

In the thirteenth hour of the race, the GT Pro-leading (and teams’ GT championship-winning) #93 Porsche was forced in to the garages for exhaust repairs, handing the lead to the #51 Ferrari.

The #8 car managed to overtake the pole-sitting #7 during the night – but Kamui Kobayashi was able to reclaim the top spot from Sebastien Buemi before the sun came up over Circuit de la Sarthe..

With less than six hours to go, long-time LMP2 leader G-Drive was forced into the pits with a malfunctioning starter motor, costing 20 minutes of painful time and handing the lead to the Signatech Alpine Matmut #36 car.

There was a safety car with three and a half hours to go after Nyck de Vries has a heavy crash in the Team Nederlands LMP2 that proved fateful for the GT Pro win. The leading #51 AF Corse Ferrari looked set to lose to the #93 Porsche on

De Vries managed to get the LMP2 back but heavily damaged – amazingly, the car was repaired enough to go back out but suffered a puncture that saw it fully out of any kind of contention.

Keating Motorsport, in contention for the GT Am win and title given stop-go penalty with an hour and ten minutes to go for spinning the wheels at the end of the pit stop, seemingly handing both to the Project One Porsche, which had been behind the Keating car for the whole race.

With one hour and one minute to go, the #7 Toyota, driven at the time by Jose-Maria Lopez slowed on track with tyre pressure warning that sent it into the pits and gave the #8 the lead with Kazuki Nakajima at the wheel. The #7 went back out, with only the front-right tyre replaced and the warning light still on, one minute behind the #8.

Ben Keating was able to speed up enough to take the stop-go penalty and keep the lead, before handing over to pro teammate Jeroen Bleekmolen with a very short gap back to the advancing Jorg Bergmeister.

With 51 minutes to go, Nakajima exchanged several seemingly panicked radio messages, told to remain at ‘normal pace’ by his engineer. Seemingly a frenzied radio discussion about potentially swapping places with the #7

Philipp Eng managed to get his stricken BMW M8 back to the pits after an hour and twenty minutes of impromptu trackside repairs, with thirty eight minutes and a chance to see the chequered flag

Fernando Alonso, Kazuki Nakajima and Sebastien Buemi win the FIA WEC drivers’ title for the 2018-19 Super Season, as well as both Le Mans of the extended calendar.

Speaking as the chequered flag fell, Buemi said his feelings on the win were mixed – “It doesn’t feel so good because car #7 deserved it – I can understand how they feel because it happened to us in 2016, so it doesn’t feel so good.”

Keating Motorsport take the first-ever Le Mans win for a privately entered Ford GT car. Nicolas Lapierre crossed the line in tears, taking the LMP2 win and a continued 100% win record in the class with his fourth Le Mans victory, this time for Signatech Alpine Matmut.

The #51 Ferrari took the Le Mans win in GT Pro, while losing their previous world title to the second-placed #93 Porsche. The third place on the outright podium – and fastest privateer LMP1 – went to the SMP Racing #11 car, with Stoffel Vandoorne crossing the line after driving more than 10 hours of the race.

Full results – 24h du Mans 2019

1. Toyota Gazoo Racing #8 – Kazuki Nakajima, Sebastien Buemi, Fernando Alonso (LMP1-H)
2. Toyota Gazoo Racing #7 – Kamui Kobyashi, Mike Conway, Jose-Maria Lopez (LMP1-H)
3. SMP Racing #11 – Vitaly Petrov, Mikhail Aleshin, Stoffel Vandoorne (LMP1)
4. Rebellion Racing #1 – Neel Jani, Andre Lotterer, Bruno Senna (LMP1)
5. Rebellion Racing #3 – Thomas Laurent, Nathanael Berthon, Gustavo Menezes (LMP1)
6. Signatech Alpine Matmut #36 – Nicolas Lapierre, Andre Negrao, Pierre Thiriet (LMP2)
7. Jackie Chan DC Racing #38 – Ho-Pin Tung, Stephane Richelmi, Gabriel Aubry (LMP2)
8. TDS Racing #28 – Matthieu Vaxivierre, Francois Perrodo, Loic Duval (LMP2)
9. United Autosports #22 – Paul di Resta, Filipe Alberquerque, Phil Hanson (LMP2)
10. IDEC Sport #48 – Memo Rojas, Paul-Loup Chatin, Paul Lafargue (LMP2)
11. G-Drive Racing #26 – Job van Uttert, Roman Rusinov, Jean-Eric Vergne (LMP2)
12. Duqueine Engineering #30 – Nicolas Jamin, Pierre Ragues, Romain Dumas (LMP2
13. Panis Barthez Competition #23 – Rene Binder, Julien Canal, Will Stevens (LMP2)
14. Graff SO24 #39 – Vincent Capillaire, Tristan Gommendy, Jonathan Hirschi (LMP2)
15. Algarve Pro Racing #25 – John Falb, Andrea Pizzitola, David Zollinger (LMP2)
16. High Class Racing #20 – Anders Fjordbach, Dennis Andersen, Mathias Beche (LMP2)
17. Larbre Competition #50 – Erwin Creed, Romano Ricci, Nicholas Boulle (LMP2)
18. Cetilar Villorba Corse #47 – Roberto Lacorte, Giorgio Sernagiotto, Andrea Belicchi (LMP2)
19. United Autosports #32 – Will Owen, Ryan Cullen, Alex Brundle (LMP2)
20. AF Corse #51 – Daniel Serra, James Calado, Alessandro Pier Guidi (GT Pro)
21. Porsche GT Manthey #91 – Frederic Makowiecki, Gianmaria Bruni, Richard Lietz (GT Pro)
22. Porsche GT Core #93 – Patrick Pilet, Nick Tandy, Earl Bamber (GT Pro)
23. Ford Chip Ganassi Team USA #68 – Joey Hand, Dirk Muller, Sebastien Bourdais (GT Pro)
24. Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK #67 – Andy Priaulx, Jonathan Bomarito, Harry Tincknell (GT Pro)
25. Ford Chip Ganassi Team USA #69 – Ryan Briscoe, Scott Dixon, Richard Westbrook (GT Pro)
26. Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK #66 – Stefan Mucke, Olivier Pla, Billy Johnson (GT Pro)
27. Racing Team Nederland #29 – Giedo van der Garde, Nyck de Vries, Frits van Eerd (LMP2)
28. Porsche GT Core #94 – Sven Muller, Mathieu Jaminet, Dennis Olsen (GT Pro)
29. Corvette Racing #63 – Mike Rockenfeller, Antonio Garcia, Jan Magnussen (GT Pro)
30. Porsche GT Manthey #92 – Laurens Vanthoor, Kevin Estre, Michael Christensen (GT Pro)
31. BMW Team MTEK #82 – Augusto Farfus, Jesse Krohn, Antonio Felix da Costa (GT Pro)
32. Keating Motorsports #85 – Ben Keating, Jeroen Bleekemolen, Felipe Fraga (GT Am)
33. Team Project 1 #56 – Jörg Bergmeister, Patrick Lindsey, Egidio Perfetti (GT Am)
34. JMW Motorsport #84 – Rodrigo Baptista, Jeff Segal, Wei Lu (GT Am)
35. Weathertech Racing #62 – Toni Vilander, Cooper MacNeil, Robert Smith (GT Am)
36. Dempsey-Proton Racing #77 – Matt Campbell, Christian Ried, Julien Andlauer (GT Am)
37. Car Guy Racing #57 – Come Ledogar, Takeshi Kimura, Kei Francesco Cozzolino
38. Proton Competition #78 – Vincent Abril, Philippe Prette, Louis Prette (GT Am)
39. Clearwater Racing #61 – Luis Perez Companc, Matt Griffin, Matteo Cressoni (GT Am)
40. Gulf Racing #86 – Ben Barker, Mike Wainwright, Thomas Preining (GT Am)
41. Kessel Racing #83 – Michelle Gatting, Rachel Frey, Manuela Gostner (GT Am)
42. Risi Competizione #89 – Jules Gounon, Pipo Derani, Oliver Jarvis (GT Pro)
43. MR Racing (AF Corse) #70 – Olivier Beretta, Motoaki Ishikawa, Eddie Cheever III (GT Am)
44. TF Sport #90 – Salih Yoluc, Euan Hankey, Charlie Eastwood (GT Am)
45. Spirit of Race #54 – Francesco Castellacci, Thomas Flor, Giancarlo Fisichella (GT Am)
46. Aston Martin Racing #97 – Alexander Lynn, Maxime Martin, Jonathon Adam (GT Pro)
47. Inter Europol Competition #34 – Jakub Smiechowski, Nigel Moore, James Winslow (LMP2)
48. Kessel Racing #60 – Claudio Schiavoni, Sergio Pianezzola, Andrea Piccini (GT Am)
49. BMW Team MTEK #81 – Nicky Catsburg, Martin Tomczyck, Philipp Eng (GT Pro)

50. RLR Motorsport/Tower Events #43 – Arjun Maini, John Farano, Norman Nato (LMP2 – retired)
51. Dragonspeed #31 – Pastor Maldonado, Roberto Gonzalez, Anthony Davidson (LMP2 – retired)
52. Jackie Chan DC Racing #37 – Ricky Taylor, David Heinemeier-Hansson, Jordan King (LMP2 – retired)
53. SMP Racing #17 – Stephane Sarrazin, Sergey Sirotkin, Egor Orudzhev (LMP1 – retired)
54. Bykolles Racing #4 – Tom Dillman, Paulo Ruberti, Oliver Webb (LMP1 – retired)
55. ARC Bratislava Kaneko Racing #49 – Miro Konopka, Henning Enqvist, Konstantin Tereschenko (LMP2 – retired)
56. AF Corse #71 – Miguel Molina, Davide Rigon, Sam Bird (GT Pro – retired)
57. Aston Martin Racing #95 – Nicki Thiim, Marco Sorensen, Darren Turner (GT Pro – retired)
58. Aston Martin Racing #98 – Pedro Lamy, Paul Dalla Lana, Mathias Lauda (GT Am – retired)
59. Corvette Racing #64 – Oliver Gavin, Marcel Fassler, Tommy Milner (GT Pro – retired)
60. Dempsey-Proton racing #88 – Satoshi Hoshino, Giorgio Roda, Matteo Cairoli (GT Am – retired)
61. Dragonspeed #10 – Renger van de Zande, Henrik Hedman, Ben Hanley (LMP1 – retired)

Author information

Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a motorsport and automotive journalist with a particular interest in hybrid systems, electrification, batteries and new fuel technologies....

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70 comments on “Alonso, Nakajima and Buemi secure second Le Mans win for Toyota”

  1. FlyingLobster27
    16th June 2019, 14:56

    Radio Le Mans reporting that Toyota changed the wrong tyre on the #7, which meant Lopez had to pit again. That is jaw-droppingly stupid and disgraceful from a supposedly professional team running such a sophisticated car.

    Once again, Alonso benefits and lucks in, but well done to Toyota: apart from Amateur Hour, they mastered this race, and kudos to all the class winners. It was a better race than last year, the most egregious stint length rules had been removed, and we did get SOME emotion from Toyota this time, but still no classic.

    1. I don’t think alonso was the most deserving driver of the 2 titles he won in f1 but he drove well, if you swap raikkonen’s and alonso’s car, and then schumacher’s and alonso’s in 2006, it’s not clear cut who would win, as a car is made up of reliability and speed ofc, can’t take just the reliability from one and speed from the other.

      Causing drama with hamilton in 2007 was a mistake but if I read right it was hamilton who started it, after that alonso made some bad decisions but also wasn’t lucky at all, going to ferrari in 2010 when in hindsight ferrari had just stopped coming to a season with the best car, last time out being in 2008, then going to mclaren honda who dominated in 1988 etc. and then could barely finish a race or score points, he definitely wasn’t lucky with the machinery he got, he could also not be a good development driver ofc, but that would mean hamilton is great, which I find weird.

      Alonso always got the most out of the often bad cars he had in f1, just like schumacher did, with better cars on average, I think alonso’s ferrari and 2nd mclaren stint are very representative of this.

      Think he’s due some luck again in other minor series, knowing that championships like these won’t have a lot of prestige, considering there’s only 1 team and 2 good enough cars to win, so if you win you do that without much competition and if you lose it’s not like you’d have been able to challenge the toyotas if you were the best driver ever.

      1. Lol it has to be vettel the least underserving champion, ferrari is showing vettels true skill level

        1. 3 way tie between Vettel, Rosberg and Button.

          Vettel with a dominant car tailored to him and a much taller, heavier and ageing teammate.

          Rosberg with the most ridiculously lopsided reliability in a dominant car ever, 9 mechanical failures to 1.

          Button with over half a season to cash grab points hand over fist in a car seconds clear of the field.

          Don’t @ me because you cant anyway. :)

          1. Definitely Button, and maybe even some of Hams dull championships.

          2. Button’s was more deserving than several of Lewis’s. He didn’t have the best car the whole season in 2009 and he also finished 2nd ahead of Lewis whilst at McLaren together.
            A prominent Red Bull engineer has said that Alonso would have won 2009 had he joined them.

        2. @carlosmedrano

          Ferrari haven’t built a decent car since 2008 when the Brawn effect hadn’t yet worn off.

          1. I don’t think you can put all the blame for the Ferrari at Vettel’s door, he has actually done really well with a bad car and terrible strategy. At this point even I could do a better job then their strategists! If Vettel wasn’t having to do the planning too, maybe he could drive it better? Alonso can drive the wheels off any car but I don’t think he’s good a development, he’s also pushed himself out of contention with most teams, they want him but not the difficulties he brings with.

  2. I think you may have mixed up the #7 and #8 in the report once or twice.
    Either that or there is a lot more complexity to this than I comprehend :/

    Colour me confused.

    1. @nullapax I don’t think I have but after 24h it’s quite possible! Let me know if there are any obvious ones.

      1. Just these two but I think I an getting my head around them …

        With 51 minutes to go, Nakajima exchanged several seemingly panicked radio messages, told to remain at ‘normal pace’ by his engineer. Seemingly a frenzied radio discussion about potentially swapping places with the #7

        “He is driving #7 so how can he swap places with it?” I thought at first – but I can see now it might mean he just meant to swap.

        Speaking as the chequered flag fell, Buemi said his feelings on the win were mixed – “It doesn’t feel so good because car #7 deserved it – I can understand how they feel because it happened to us in 2016, so it doesn’t feel so good.”

        I took this as he was guilty that they stole the win from #7 but I figure now that he meant they deserved the win yet he still feels guilty about winning.

        I need to go lay down in a dark room and realign my random brain cells ;)

        1. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
          16th June 2019, 15:32

          Nakajima was driving the #8.
          The #7 had a sensor issue which falsely showed a puncture, which continued to show on the display after they changed the tyre.
          Nakajima’s frenzied conversation wasn’t about swapping places. It was about whether on not the #7 had to put again, and whether his lead was genuine or if he needed to put the foot down before his final stop.
          It was a regrettable shame the faster #7 didn’t win today but it’s overblown to call it controversial.

          1. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
            16th June 2019, 15:34


        2. @nullapax I think @hazelsouthwell got it right all through the article, but just in the results has the car numbers the wrong way round which may have confused you.

          1. @hugh11 you’re completely right, I must have gone mad somewhere in the process of swapping the order in that last hour. Apologies, @nullapax

          2. @hugh11 You nailed it ;)
            When I read this the results had those numbers switched around hence my confusion.

            I shall instruct my solicitors to initiate proceedings for recompense for mental trauma and forum humiliation forthwith! ;P

    2. Another “Fernando is faster than you…”. I will never lose my time again watching WEC.

      1. What?

        1. Team orders, my dear… (or cheating if you prefer)

  3. All you have to know is after losing the Fernando Alonso 500, they rigged it so he could win the 24 Hours of Fernando Alonso….

    1. Wow! Alonso is bigger than motorsport itself. You must hold him in high regard lol

      1. He Is not.. but is the marketing side and the economic benefits of having someone like Alonso on the highest place.. racing is not longer a mere sport .. is business

        1. They already reaped the benefits just by having him part of the two lineups. Also there are 6 drivers who, particularly the two Japanese drivers, are a big draw in their home country.

  4. I thought ACO’s plan was to have a pace difference between LMP1-H and non-hybrids that would result in a 1 or 2 laps gap over 24 hours. Did they forget about it?

    1. Looks like yes, I think the gaps were always insane in these series between lmp1 and non-hybrids.

  5. Not sure if I have the right car but earlier in the race just after dark wasn’t it the Conway car that was spewing out a vapor trail of some kind of liquid?
    Funny that they didn’t pit to check it out.
    @Cudos to the commentary team, most enjoyable, loved the live responses to tweets at round the world, F1 and Krusty should take note.

    1. @budchekov
      Both Toyotas were dropping liquid, up to the point I went to bed (12h) nobody had found out what it was, but they didn’t seem concerned about it.

  6. @ ^ “around”

  7. Fantastic race, especially the first 12 hours or so that I got to watch before I went to sleep. I felt (and so did the commentators) that it was one of the better Le Mans’ we’ve had for a while. As usual, they spread out a bit by the time I woke up, but there were still some position battles to the last lap which never ceases to amaze me after 24 hours of racing.

    1. In GT and LPM2, yeah… but these last two years have been incredibly boring without the overall leaders racing. They went fast, but it’s a lot different if you have another team breathing down your neck. The 2015 edition was far better, not to mention the 2016 shocker!

      1. At least they actually showed us the fights through the field though, instead of just showing the Toyota’s for the whole 24 hours like would happen in F1.

  8. I think my pre-sleep comment may be erroneous, which car was ‘leaking’ ?

    1. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
      16th June 2019, 15:49

      Both Toyota’s were leaking after their stops.

  9. Why no one has mentioned 3d placed non-hybrid SMP Racing BR-1 driven by by Petrov/Aleshin/Vandoorne?

  10. Fun race but shockingly atrocious coverage by Eurosport.

    Commentary was rather poor, especially when Carlton Kirby was involved (Why they still use him is a mystery, He was terrible 20 years ago & is even worse now), They had the WorldFeed audio turned down so low that team radio was impossible to hear when they weren’t just talking over it & the regular cutting away to show a behind the scenes feature early on & then regular studio program while the race was going on was just a really poor decision. It was especially poor when they did it with about 50 minutes to go just as the #8 Toyota was starting to hit trouble.
    They missed a few incidents during these moments & rarely went back to show us what had happened including returning from one during a Safety car that I don’t recall them ever explaining or showing the reason for.

    Was one of the worst examples of Motorsport coverage from a broadcaster of a top-tier series that i’ve seen for quite a while.

    1. @gt-racer i agree.

      The eurosport coverage of WEC is & always has been terrible. Big part of why I decided to pay for the WEC streaming service who’s coverage is significantly better in every regard. You just get the full race uninterrupted and a commentary team that is actually worth listening to, know what there on about and don’t make a million mistakes.

    2. Radio Le Mans!

      1. Radio Le Mans is always awesome. I had their feed in my ear when I was at Le Mans in 2015 and they were the reason that I knew what was going on in the race no matter where I was on the track. They’re also the reason I didn’t need to sleep for over 40 hours.

        Joe Bradley of Radio Le Mans interviewed the race engineer for the #7 Toyota after the race and he said they changed the wrong tire when they brought in Lopez because of the faulty tire sensor. When they brought him in again immediately after, they changed all four tires.

        Very shoddy work on their part which robbed Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez of well deserved Le Mans victory.

        1. On radio Le Mans it was all about conspiracy theories, i.e. that Toyota wanted no. 8 rather than no. 7 to win. It was strange the way it happened. Conway was the best driver, Koboyashi second best, they deserved victory.

          1. To be fair, it may have been either Jeremy Shaw or Bruce Jones who felt there could be something fishy going on. Both John Hindhaugh and Paul Truswell at some point sighted Hanlon’s Razor, “Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.”

    3. Don frika del prima
      16th June 2019, 18:55

      Not to mention the endless stream of commercials. And what’s even worse about them is that they are always the same ones. And what’s even worse about that is that they were for something eurosport related. So none that eurosport actually earned money on. Why the hell do I have to watch a clip about the top 5 of dance moves from audience members at the US open? Or a clip of ronnie o’sullivan making the same shots, over and over again.
      Why the hell do I need to watch a clip about the tour de France being available on all different screens via the eurosport app… Why the hell does that clip last for 5 mins. Why the hell do I have to watch an identical clip of some other bike race in Spain?
      Why do they insert a clip of some random blue rectangles, with the hand of an athlete, a half bike wheel and show that for 2 min?
      But the best thing, and my absolute favorite, is the clip promoting the le mans coverage… During the actual le mans race!

      1. But the best thing, and my absolute favorite, is the clip promoting the le mans coverage… During the actual le mans race!

        Ha ha ha. With all the ads, they were concerned you might’ve forgotten what you were watching in the first place!

      2. Eurosport became part of Discovery Channel and we see the difference. There is a shift between focusing on the sport to focused on the fans experience. Or rather what people think it is the fans experience. But it is true that in today’s time people seem to be more happy with claiming to be part of something (the constant look for the camera to appear in the coverage) than enjoying that something…

        As for the constant commercial breaks to advertise the own channel is something that I fail to understand because as you said they are not getting money our of it, but many general TV channels do the same thing, a 15 mins commercial break with 5 or less being paid ads…

  11. GtisBetter (@)
    16th June 2019, 17:43

    Generally a great le mans, one of the better in recent years, but I feel really bad for #7. They deserved it. And for Aston Martin. Guess they won’t go for pole again.

  12. I can see why the Autosport report has labelled this win as “controversial”, but the fact is you have to have everything go right to win at Le Mans and the #8 did that. The two cars where very even all race and after about 10 hours there was only 10-13 seconds in it. The real turning point in the race happened when the safety car came out when the SMP car crashed (I think it was Orudzhev)…the #8 ended up behind a different safety car for some reason and just haemorrhaged time (Around 3 mins if I remember right).

  13. Still looking for the controversy? A car having a sensor failure is not controversial; dramatic and kind of embarrassing that it lead them to change the wrong tire but not at all controversial.
    The #8 had no issues and the #7 did. That’s the luck needed to win at Le Mans and exactly the luck that they didn’t have in 2016.

    1. Did you read the Toyota contingencies script?
      Surely the pits could trigger that ‘failure’.. yeah I’m real suspicious, wasn’t Alonso moaning about something early in the race ?

      1. I’ve read your previous comments through here and have no interest in discussing any of this with you.

  14. People saying this was great win. The mainstream media banging on about Alonso’s amazing achievement? People moan about Mercedes running away with F1. When here we have Toyota versus only themselves. Make your minds up.

    LMP1 was dreadful because of it. Such a hollow victory.

    Well done Ferrari for taking the class win, exactly 70 years (!) since their debut win.

    1. @psynrg
      The Toyota cars are not much different to the Mercedes cars for the last 5 years.
      Only Toyota has 2 excellent driver line-ups.
      Also the Luck these 3 drivers have had is far less than Lewis has had.

      1. @bigjoe What on earth has Lewis got to do with this? Next thing you’ll be telling us this has something to do with the referendum result not being honored.

        You’ve got the wrong end of the stick mate. I’m agreeing that Toyota’s lack of true competition could be construed as similar to Mercedes dominance in F1 (except perhaps, Mercedes are competing against 9 other teams with an equal opportunity to match or beat them, within the regulations).

        People are often aggrieved at this Mercedes dominance, yet somehow think it is exciting that Toyota came first in their class of one at this particular Le Mans 24 (or indeed the previous event).

        1. @psynrg

          People moan about Mercedes running away with F1

          What on earth has Lewis got to do with this?

          He drives for Mercedes and is running away with F1 and seems to have plenty of luck.

          Well you asked………

          1. @bigjoe Allow me to ask something else.

            What is luck?

    2. @psynrg

      People moan about Mercedes running away with F1. When here we have Toyota versus only themselves

      Same as Mercedes since 2014, no competition. At least Toyota have two excellent driver line-ups.
      Also this is proper endurance racing. Where as F1 still ‘save’ their cars on what is a quick sprint race by comparison.

  15. A victory against how stron an opposition?

    1. @gnosticbrian

      A victory against how strong an opposition?

      Similar to Mercedes versus Ferrari and Red Bull.
      Except Toyota have two excellent driver line-ups (with Alonso still learning)

      1. @bigjoe – I lost touch with sports care racing when I gave up my annual pligimage to le Sarthe more than a decade ago, hence my question.

        Which competitive full factory teams raced against Toyota this year?

        I am unsure as to the relevance of your reference to Red Bull and Ferrari. By the by, I suspect that Hamilton [and Verstappen] would have won the WDC in last year’s Ferrari.

        1. @gnosticbrian

          No, Ferrari and Red Bull are significantly behind Mercedes.

          So I don’t get all the moaners here complaining Toyota are dominant. With 3 drivers in WEC per car and another 3 in the other car, it’s also going to be closer than Hamilton v Bottas, so less of the ‘Alonso doesn’t deserve it’

          1. @bigjoe – So you can’t identify any competitive full factory teams that raced against Toyota this year?

            As to Ferrari and Red Bull being “significantly behind Mercedes” – I simply do not agree. Where is the evidence? Failing to make the best of the equipment available is NOT the same as being at a significant disadvantage.

            In the case of Ferrari, they have certainly squandered race winning positions. Red Bull are a lot closer to Mercedes than you allow; with a better run of luck they will win races. Mercedes only “significant advantage” is having the services of one of the greatest racers of the post war era – and I have watched Grand Prix racing from the wonderful, ear-splitting shriek and eye-watering exhaust of the V-16 BRM up to the present day.

  16. 6 laps behind…

  17. Should win when your only competition is your other team car.

    Please join IndyCar for a real challenge.

    1. At least the other team car (usually in most WEC teams) has a good driver line-up, unlike many F1 driver’s championships in the best car by far.

    2. If you want to see excellent drivers lose in good cars. Then the best chances of that are Formula E.

      1. @bigjoe

        I hope i heard you right you think Nakajima and the other drivers are better than Hamilton’s competition in Merc?

  18. I am confused why they didn’t replace all four tires on the first stop. It really doesn’t make sense to change one tire. I get why people may consider this a conspiracy.

    1. Ericglo, according to Vasselon, the reason for that is because the rules in the WEC state that, if they wanted to change all four tyres, it would have to be for a used set of tyres.

      Toyota didn’t want to do that as most of the used sets of tyres they had available had done four stints, so they thought that changing just one tyre and leaving three less worn tyres on the car was the best option.

    2. It’s because that would take much longer. Unlike F1, only two tyre guns can be used and only two mechanics can work on the car at the same time.

  19. Things are shaping up nicely for ALO regarding his palmares. I mean, winning 2 times in different categories seems, to a certain extent, more valuable than winning 4 times in the same category.

    1. @mg1982

      It would seem to me definitely valuable in a ‘time spent’ in a ‘lifetime’ sense. Sports person’s careers are usually over too quickly.

  20. Contro-what?
    I’ll have to consult my dictionary, but unless the word has undergone a drastic semantic shift in the past few years, there’s quite a mismatch between how it can be used and how it is used in this article …

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