Nigel Mansell thinks there might be an ulterior motive behind Fernando Alonso's WEC bid

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Fernando Alonso appears to be determined in establishing himself as one of the world's best drivers.

It's the goal of most at the top of Formula One, with the likes of Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel, both on four championships apiece, continue their assault on the record books.

Alonso has won the driver's championship twice, first in 2005 and then retaining the title in 2006, but it isn't by racking up F1 titles that he wants to cement a legacy.

The 36-year-old made headlines last year when he decided against competing at the Monaco Grand Prix in order to drive in the Indy 500 - both races considered a part of the 'Triple Crown' of motorsport.

The Spaniard will attempt the third part of the crown next year when he competes in the 24 hours of Le Mans, something that he'll achieve as part of representing Toyota at the FIA World Endurance Championship.

The WEC consists of nine endurance races at some of the most famous circuits in the world - none more so than Le Mans - but it will mean that Alonso is splitting his time between racing for McLaren's F1 team and Toyota Gazoo Racing for the WEC.

Success would certainly establish Alonso as one of the all-time greats of racing, so the appeal of his goal is clear to see.

Nigel Mansell, however, thinks that Alonso's decision to compete outside of Formula One might be a reflection of where McLaren is at.

"I don’t know what the motivation is," Mansell told Sky Sports. “For me, it bodes that the car isn’t going to be as competitive as we all hoped for.

"So he wants to be in a competitive car doing something else and having the opportunity to win.

“When you are a winner you want to be competitive, and you want to be able to win and compete at the front."

It's an interesting theory, for sure, and one that might ring true considering McLaren's recent performances.

The team has struggled ever since Lewis Hamilton left for Mercedes, slipping from 2nd and 3rd place finishes in the constructor's championship to 9th, 6th, and 9th in the last three years.

For a winner like Alonso, that can't be good enough - maybe he's simply been left to make a name for himself elsewhere.

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