Zak Brown: Fernando Alonso not distracted by non-F1 projects

McLaren chief Zak Brown has emphasised that Formula 1 is Fernando Alonso’s priority and believes that other projects are a help, rather than a hindrance.

Alonso’s Formula 1 prospects have dwindled in recent years, having been lumbered with uncompetitive machinery, and the Spaniard has spoken of his desire to compete for the Triple Crown.

Alonso made his debut at the Indianapolis 500 this year and sampled LMP1 machinery with Toyota, ahead of a mooted outing at the 2018 Le Mans 24 Hours.

Alonso will also compete in LMP2 machinery at next month’s Daytona 24 Hours with United Autosports, the operation co-founded by Brown.

Rather than viewing Alonso’s extra activities as a distraction, Brown asserts that the 36-year-old is fully focused on whichever project he commits to.

“I like how he just wants to race every weekend, what a lot of people don’t know is he’s racing in a go-kart most weekends he’s not in a Formula 1 car,” Brown said.

“I think the more experience the better, the more driving the better, some people said what about his focus and I say well he’s absolutely 100 per cent focused on motor-racing, he’s not out doing other things.

“That’s how it used to be in the Mario Andretti days and it’s great to see Fernando has that kind of attitude.”

Brown cited a pre-Daytona test as an example of Alonso’s mentality.

“When we tested in Spain we had a few other cars there and I asked him if he wanted to drive them,” Brown reflected.

“It was ‘no I’m in LMP2 mode’ and it wasn’t that he didn’t want to drive the cars but ‘I’m here, I have a mission, I have a plan, I’m not going to mess about in other cars I’ll go and play in those another time’.

“That’s the type of mindset he brings when he goes racing, so if he makes a commitment to something else I think he’ll be cautious as to whatever commitments he makes.”