Fernando Alonso Open to Returning to Formula One in 2021

Fernando Alonsoisn’t ruling out a comeback…

The 38-year-old Spanish racing driver, regarded as one of the greatest Formula One drivers in the history of the sport, says he’d be open to a return to F1 in 2021 if the right opportunity came along.

Fernando Alonso

The two-time World Champion, who contested 17 seasons of Formula One, left F1 at the end of 2018 after four frustrating years at McLarenwithout a victory or podium appearance. 

Alonso has turned his attention to other pursuits outside of F1 since, winning the Le Mans 24 Hourswith Toyotain 2018.

Alonso is set to take part in the Dakar Rallyin January 2020 and will then set his sights on winning the Indy 500on his third attempt — he led for a spell on his debut at the Brickyard in 2017, but ultimately failed to finish following a Hondaengine issue. On his return last year a catalogue of McLaren errors in the build-up meant he failed to qualify for the race itself.

In an interview with Sky Sportsahead of this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Alonso said he’s still happy to consider a return to the F1 grid.

“I’m doing Dakar in January which is a big challenge and next year hopefully Indy is in the plan again,” he said. “I’ll try and do a little bit better than this year!

“We will keep it open in the future, maybe Formula One in 2021, maybe hyper car in the WEC [World Endurance Championship.]

“I think in 2021 that is the reason why I keep open the possibilities. Maybe things mix up with the new rules so let’s see if an opportunity comes.”

Coma Rides His Way to Fifth Dakar Rally Title

Make that five Dakar Rally titles for Marc Coma

The 38-year-old Spanish rally racing motorcycle rider captured his fifth Dakar Rally title in the motorcycle class on Saturday, completing the 13 stages in a time of 46:03:49.

Marc Coma

Coma, who races for KTM, had a big lead heading into Saturday’s 174-kilometer (108-mile) final stage, which was interrupted by rain, and coasted to victory in the general classification ahead of Portugal’s Paulo Gonçalves (Honda) and Australia’s Toby Price (KTM).

The Spaniard also won the Dakar Rally in 2006, 2009, 2011 and 2014.

The Dakar Rally, which has been held in South America for the past seven years, started in Buenos Aires province on January 4 and traversed parts of Argentina, Chile and Bolivia before finishing up in Baradero, for a total distance of 9,000 kilometers (5,600 miles).

Coma Earns Fourth Motorcycle Trophy at the Dakar Rally

Make that four for Marc Coma

The 37-year-old Spanish rally racing ride won the motorcycle race at the Dakar Rally for a fourth time over the weekend, finishing the rally an hour, 53 minutes ahead of countryman and KTM teammate Jordi Viladoms.

Marc Coma

Olivier Pain of France was third, and two-time defending champ Cyril Despres fourth.

“I remember being unable to start last year’s race, and yet I’m here now, I’ve won,” Coma said. “I’m going to savor it. I don’t know if I’ll ever win it again.”

Coma took control of the race, which began two weeks ago, on the fifth stage, a long sandy run to Tucuman, Argentina, and avoided risks and watched his rivals fall away.

His nemesis, Despres, experienced electrical trouble and fell out of contention on the same stage. But Despres worked hard to claw back from 12th to missing the podium by five minutes.

Marc Coma

In his previous 10 Dakars, he’d won five times, and been runner-up four times. Fourth was his worst finish since 2001.

Coma added to his victories in 2006, 2009 and 2011.

Roma Wins the Dakar Rally

Nani Roma’s decade-long wait is over…

The 41-year-old Spanish rally racing driver won the Dakar Rally over the weekend.

Nani Roma

Roma’s win in the car race comes exactly 10 years after he won the Dakar Rally on a motorcycle.

Stephane Peterhansel, the Dakar’s record 11-time winner and defending champion, began the race’s shortest stage of 157 kilometers with a 26-second lead but the Frenchman slowed down and even stopped to let teammate Roma roll first to the finish line.

The move ensured Roma, Peterhansel and third-place teammate Nasser Al-Attiyah of Qatar followed controversial team orders from late Wednesday to freeze their positions to ensure a podium sweep.

Their Minis deliberately reached the finish line together and the sweep was achieved.

Nani Roma

Ten years after winning the motorbikes race in North Africa, Roma became the third man to also win the Dakar in a car, after Peterhansel and Hubert Auriol.

“It’s a dream come true,” said Roma, who dedicated the win to former co-driver Henri Magne, who died in a race in 2006.

Victory for Roma and co-driver Michel Perin also meant they stayed unbeaten for a fifth straight rally.

Peterhansel said, “We had lots of fun driving but I’m frustrated with the final result. Nani’s my friend, and I’m pleased to see him happy because it’s been his dream for 10 years, since he shifted to a car.”

Roma and Coma Maintain Their Dakar Rally Lead

It’s full lead ahead for Nani Roma and Marc Coma

The Spanish rally racer driver and Spanish rally race motorcycle rider kept their comfortable overall leads in the Dakar Rally after a fast eighth stage on Monday.

Dakar Rally

Both took different high-altitude routes down into Chile.

Roma and the cars undertook a 300-kilometer special from Salta, Argentina, over the Andes.

Roma endured two punctures on the stony track and finished sixth, losing eight minutes off his lead over defending champion Stephane Peterhansel of France.

Peterhansel was down to 24 minutes off the pace. Giniel de Villiers of South Africa remained 48 minutes behind in third, and Orlando Terranova of Argentina stayed fourth, 51 minutes back. They were the only ones within an hour of Roma.

Peterhansel was second in the stage, about a minute behind winner Nasser Al-Attiyah of Qatar, who led in his Mini most of the way for his 18th Dakar stage victory. Carlos Sainz of Spain was third.

Coma and the motorbikes left from Uyuni, Bolivia, on a 460-kilometer trek around the Salar de Uyuni, the world’s biggest salt flats.

Coma, with a big overall lead, was happy to stay on the tail of his great rival, Cyril Despres of France, the titleholder who won his first stage of the year.

Despres beat Joan Barreda Bort of Spain and Coma by more than two minutes, but Despres was still more than two hours behind Coma overall.

Barreda remained second and 38 minutes behind Coma overall, and the only rider within an hour of the leader.

But the rally returns to the treacherous sand dunes on Tuesday, racing through the Atacama Desert from Calama to Iquique.