Although they weren't saying anything firm at Daytona, it was clear from remarks by Fernando Alonso and Zak Brown that come June McLaren's team leader would be on the grid at Le Mans. What I hadn't anticipated, though, was that he would drive a Toyota in all non-clashing World Endurance Championship races: at Fuji - a circuit owned by Toyota - they're seeking a date change, for the United States Grand Prix is scheduled the same weekend.
In the manner of Pedro Rodriguez half a century ago, for Alonso a weekend without a race is a weekend lost. "I think," said Brown, "Fernando would live in a race car if he could."
If sundry problems ruled the United Autosports Ligier out of contention at Daytona, both men were high in their praise of Lando Norris. "For people who don't know Lando," said Alonso, "maybe it was a surprise. In the night we ran wet tyres for one stint, and we were fifth, a minute behind the leader. Then we went back to slicks, in damp conditions: in something like 20 laps Lando recovered 33 seconds - and he's 18 years old."