18th October 2018, Circuit of The Americas, Austin, USA; Formula One Grand Prix of The United States, driver arrivals and press conference; Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport, Lewis Hamilton and McLaren, Fernando Alonso (photo by Octane/Action Plus via Getty Images)

This weekend Fernando Alonso experiences an absolute shift in style of racing numerous continents over. It was a week ago that Alonso, alongside with Toyota saw success in Japan. Finishing 1-2 at WEC’s 6 Hours of Fuji race, Alonso saw himself on a podium for the third time in four races (all four times when you include the time that his team was disqualified afterwards).

Fernando Alonso Moves To F1 After A Successful WEC Weekend

At the WEC’s 6 Hours of Fuji race, the #8 LMP1 car started on pole position and only dropped one place within the six hours to its sister car who came from the very back of the pack. This wouldn’t have been the case if penalties didn’t get in the #7’s way for speeding in pit lane during qualifying.

This week Alonso steps into his Formula 1 McLaren car with just four races left in this episode of his F1 career. Alonso isn’t hiding his preparation for life after F1, testing Indycars and continuing to pursue endurance racing. His current main focus is a polar opposite to his side-job in almost every way. The biggest thing that sticks out like a sore thumb in the F1 statistic column: Alonso’s last F1 win was 5 years ago. Nearly batting 1.000 in endurance racing, it’s almost his playground while Formula 1 is his study hall.

A Stint In WEC

While constantly being held back by penalties and regulations, Toyota reaches for and achieves top placings. The only time that Toyota did not win a race so far this season was when they were disqualified due to penalties. The only completely clean race that they have pulled off is the 24 Hours of Le Mans, which is coincidentally the most important. Even when being pushed further back in the grid, the team finds their way back to the top. The race at Fuji, a successful weekend despite the penalties, was nearly a replay of what happened at the season opening race at Spa-Francorchamps back in May.

Goodbyes Galore

For Alonso, this weekend it’s back to the grind for one of the last times in Formula 1. In spite of a car that is performance-wise at the back of the grid, Alonso will no doubt find a way to display his tenacity and skills as an F1 driver yet again this weekend.

Although once the checkered flag is waved for the last time in 2018, it won’t just be Alonso departing McLaren. Stoffel Vandoorne says his goodbyes to the team as well with his future in Formula E. The team welcomes young driver Lando Norris and current Renault driver Carlos Sainz Jr. in 2019.

While Fernando Alonso certainly did not swim his way from Oyama, Japan to Austin, Texas, the transition for him is about going from being the big fish in the little pond to being thrown into the ocean with the big sharks.

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