Mark Webber brands Fernando Alonso's Le Mans attempt a 'mistake'
Mark Webber believes Fernando Alonso would be making a big mistake if he goes ahead with plans to compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans this year.
Alonso is currently in America having run the Roar before the 24 ahead of his Daytona 24 drive with United Autosports later this month, with the event a precursor to a planned Le Mans attack with Toyota.
But Webber, who retired from F1 in 2013 to focus on a full-time World Endurance Championship campaign with Porsche, believes Alonso is underestimating what it takes to prepare and compete at Le Mans, which the Australian doesn't believe is feasible alongside a full-time Formula 1 drive, particularly if McLaren can start challenging for wins once again.
“It’s a mistake, they are two totally different things," Webber told Italy's Automoto when asked for his opinion on Alonso's endurance outings.
"They both absorb a very high amount of mental energy. If you do Formula 1 you cannot afford certain distractions. I say this after doing several seasons and racing at Le Mans. If I were Fernando, I wouldn’t do it."
When it was posed to him that Nico Hulkenberg managed a full-time F1 race seat alongside winning Le Mans in 2015, Webber replied: "That was with a second-rate team in F1. The pressures are different. He was also with the top Le Mans team and that simplified things a lot."
The former Red Bull driver and 2015 Le Mans runner-up urged Alonso to do it properly, when he's done with F1, and reckons competing at Daytona will make the Spaniard realise just how much effort and preparation is required.
“Either he chooses to do Le Mans properly and focuses on it, working on it three weeks in advance with a maniacal focus and forgetting the rest of the year, or he could risk getting hurt.
“It requires a very strong mental commitment, and to understand if it’s all worth it, I think Alonso is right to do Daytona. He’ll assess everything and get an understanding of what is needed. And then I’m sure he’ll take the right decision.”