Davidson makes way for Alonso as Toyota names WEC line-up

Toyota has relegated team regular Anthony Davidson to reserve and development driver status to make way for Fernando Alonso in its FIA World Endurance Championship line-up for 2018/19.

Davidson makes way for Alonso as Toyota names WEC line-up
#8 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota TS050-Hybrid: Sébastien Buemi, Anthony Davidson, Kazuki Nakajima
Race winners #8 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota TS050-Hybrid: Sebastien Buemi, Anthony Davidson, Kazuki Nakajima
#8 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota TS050-Hybrid: Fernando Alonso
#8 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota TS050-Hybrid: Fernando Alonso, Sébastien Buemi
#8 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota TS050-Hybrid: Fernando Alonso, Sébastien Buemi
#8 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota TS050-Hybrid: Sebastien Buemi, Anthony Davidson, Kazuki Nakajima
#8 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota TS050-Hybrid: Sebastien Buemi, Anthony Davidson, Kazuki Nakajima

Former Formula 1 driver Davidson has been part of Toyota's full-time WEC LMP1 line-up since 2013, and won the title in 2014 alongside Sebastien Buemi.

But the Briton has been replaced in the 2018/19 superseason line-up by McLaren F1 racer Alonso, who has agreed a WEC programme with Toyota as part of his quest to win the Le Mans 24 Hours.

Alonso will take Davidson's place in the #7 TS050 Hybrid line-up, partnering Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima.

The driver roster for the sister #8 car remains unchanged, made up of Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez.

“I believe we have an extremely strong driver line-up with real strength in depth,” Toyota team president Hisatake Murata said.

“Fernando is a rookie in WEC but he brings speed and experience gained from many years at the top of his sport.

“We are all excited to work with him but endurance racing is a team effort and we know all of our drivers are performing to a very high level.

“I would like to thank Anthony for his professional approach in difficult circumstances. He remains a strong part of our driving line-up and he will be busy this season.”

Davidson won five races in 2017 despite not contesting a complete campaign, the Briton having missed Austin for what was announced as “personal reasons” after a disappointing performance in Mexico.

Reserve driver status would theoretically put him in line to replace Alonso for the 2018 Fuji race, which the Spaniard is certain to be missing due to an F1 clash.

Toyota's statement read that Alonso “will compete in all rounds of the 2018-19 season which do not conflict with his existing Formula 1 obligations”.

The WEC superseason calendar is made up of eight events across two years – five in '18 and three in '19 – and features the next two editions of the prestigious Le Mans 24 Hours race.

shares
comments
Alonso joins Toyota for Le Mans debut, other WEC races

Previous article

Alonso joins Toyota for Le Mans debut, other WEC races

Next article

Why Alonso already looks like a sportscar great

Why Alonso already looks like a sportscar great
Load comments
Why Toyota's Le Mans victory was not as simple as it looked Prime

Why Toyota's Le Mans victory was not as simple as it looked

Toyota scored its fourth Le Mans 24 Hours victory and a 1-2, with the #7 car of Kamui Kobayashi, Mike Conway and Jose Maria Lopez beating the #8. But although it looked straightforward from the outside, Toyota faced serious problem that had to be solved with some quick-thinking and ingenuity.

Le Mans
Aug 24, 2021
What we've learned from the Le Mans 24 Hours so far Prime

What we've learned from the Le Mans 24 Hours so far

The new dawn for the FIA World Endurance Championship has arrived at Le Mans, as Hypercars prepare to duel for victory in the world's oldest endurance race. Motorsport.com picks out the 10 things we have learned in the build up to the race.

Le Mans
Aug 21, 2021
Le Mans 2021: The team-by-team guide Prime

Le Mans 2021: The team-by-team guide

After a two-month delay due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 Le Mans 24 Hours is set to get underway with the start of the Hypercar era at the Circuit de la Sarthe.

Le Mans
Aug 21, 2021
Can Toyota's #7 crew break its Le Mans curse? Prime

Can Toyota's #7 crew break its Le Mans curse?

One Toyota, normally with the number 7 on the side, always seems to attract the bad luck in the Le Mans 24 Hours. Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez are hoping for a change in fortune this time around, but face significantly more unknowns than in recent years

Le Mans
Aug 19, 2021
Why Glickenhaus should be taken seriously on its Le Mans bow Prime

Why Glickenhaus should be taken seriously on its Le Mans bow

Many were quick to dismiss Glickenhaus when the boutique American sportscar firm's entry into the top class of the Le Mans 24 Hours was announced. It's all-new LMH racer, powered by an engine built by a rally specialist, goes in as the underdog against Toyota but the mathematical odds suggest that it has more than just a faint hope of success.

Le Mans
Aug 18, 2021
How 1971's benchmark Le Mans team lost with the best car Prime

How 1971's benchmark Le Mans team lost with the best car

The JW Automotive Engineering team won twice at the Le Mans 24 Hours with ageing Fords and was considered the heavy favourite to add more victories to its tally after partnering with Porsche. But despite being armed with the all-conquering 917, this formidable combination was never as successful in real life as on the big screen.

Le Mans
Aug 15, 2021
Why Jose Maria Lopez isn’t motivated by emulating Fangio Prime

Why Jose Maria Lopez isn’t motivated by emulating Fangio

Having twice missed out on Formula 1 and reinvented himself as a touring car driver, Jose Maria Lopez has had a rocky ride to becoming a four-time world champion. One more would put him level with his nation's favourite son, but there's another prize he would value far more than the honour of matching Juan Manuel Fangio's tally.

WEC
Aug 14, 2021
The understated Le Mans legend who has earned a testimonial Prime

The understated Le Mans legend who has earned a testimonial

OPINION: After 24 Le Mans 24 Hours participations, 50-year-old Emmanuel Collard will be absent from the grid this year, stuck at the mercy of his gold driver grading. But, while he's not motivated by breaking start records, the French veteran is determined to return to the field next year.

WEC
Jul 24, 2021