Zak Brown opens up on McLaren's agreement with Toyota for Fernando Alonso

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Zak Brown has revealed McLaren insisted Spanish driver Fernando Alonso had a 'very minimised' role with Toyota when permitting the two-time F1 champion to race in the World Endurance Championship.

The 36-year-old has ambitions to win motorsport's 'triple crown' and has secured an agreement with Toyota to race one of the constructor's TS050 HYBRID LMP1s in the Le Mans 24 Hours and other WEC events, as well as fulfil his McLaren programme duties.

But Brown has been very keen to stress that Alonso is a McLaren driver 'first and foremost'.

"Fernando is effectively restricted to just driving the [Toyota] race car," Brown said, as per Autosport.

"So as far as commercial appearances, sponsor commitments, things of that nature, it's very minimised.

"His relationship with Toyota - he's on loan from us.

"We came to an arrangement with Toyota and that is to allow him to race the car but not to travel the globe having commercial commitments."

Alonso has won two back-to-back world championships in F1 in 2005 and 2006 and although the Spanish driver's priority is still with Formula One, he underwent a long spell last autumn focusing on the endurance racing.


He not only completed 113 laps in Bahrain for the FIA WEC, the McLaren man also finished 13th in the class of the Dayonta 24 Hours race in Motorland Aragon in Spain.

The McLaren boss continued: "[It's] everything from minimising his travel, to any potential sponsor conflicts - Toyota don't have many on there so there aren't many sitting there today that are a conflict with McLaren.

"But if they do find a partner that is conflicting with McLaren, we couldn't have Fernando walking around in competing sponsor attire.

"When you think of Fernando, you think of him as a McLaren F1 driver first and foremost.

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"What he will be doing on those weekends otherwise? He wouldn't be testing in an F1 car, he wouldn't be here on a simulator. There is only so much he can do.

"We have got everything we need on the F1 front, so the weekend he would either be in a a go-kart or golfing or whatever he wants to do, he will instead be in a Toyota WEC car.

"He wants to spend his spare time in race cars."

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