IndyCar’s Alexander Rossi says he was “kind of relieved” two-time Formula 1 World Champion Fernando Alonso didn’t win the Dakar Rally on his debut.
The Spaniard entered the event with Toyota and managed to finish in 13th place, just under five hours adrift of three-time winner Carlos Sainz.
Rossi though, who intends to enter the extreme endurance event himself in the near future, believes had Alonso won on his debut it would have placed a burden on other drivers who make the jump when in reality swapping one series for another is incredibly tough.
“I want to see him do well; I don’t want to see him win it because that would annoy me!” Rossi told RACER. “I’ve done Baja now twice, I haven’t won my class, so it would really annoy me if he went and did his first desert race and won it.
“I was kind of relieved he didn’t, because it just shows that yes, he is one of the best racing drivers in the world, but that doesn’t mean that you can just go into a category where these guys have been doing it for their entire lives and just show up and beat them. That doesn’t really exist.”
Rossi held the same view when Scott McLaughlin tested an IndyCar this month and whilst he was quick, he wasn’t on the same pace as the experienced racers.
“It was the same thing when Scott tested the IndyCar. Secretly I was like, ‘Please don’t go and be the quickest guy, that would just really piss me off.’ And he wasn’t. He was fast – of course he was fast, he’s a superstar – but he was still a second off, and it just shows that there’s such a fine tolerance and such a special skill set for every series that exists; that there’s really nobody who can just show up and be immediately on the pace.
“It’s something that comes with time, and you’ll get there and learn and adapt and be good enough, but you’re not just going to show up and win everything you do.”