crankandpiston.com was on the ground in Bahrain to witness Toyota teammates Anthony Davidson and Sébastien Buemi be crowned 2014 World Endurance Champions, so we thought you might like to see our favourite images from the weekend.
“Is that him?” “Can’t be, can it?” “Looks like him” “Yeah it does look like him” “Is it him?”
Welcome to the (admittedly repetitive) conversation the crankandpiston.com team is enjoying in the departure lounge of Dubai Airport Terminal 3. You see, we’ve just seen Fernando Alonso.
At least, we THINK it’s the two-time Formula 1 World Champion. His beard is a little longer, not many of us have seen that neck tattoo before, and the fact there isn’t a prancing horse on his t-shirt don’t make life much easier. But it certainly does look like him.
Fast forward six hours and it’s confirmed, Alonso – sunglasses now affixed – enjoying an animated conversation with old mate and current LMP1 Porsche 919 Hybrid driver Mark Webber on the grid for the 2014 FIA World Endurance Championship round in Bahrain. Suddenly makes us wonder if that McLaren contract is a done deal for 2015.
The Ferrari man’s cameo in Bahrain though is just one talking point from a busy WEC weekend (and that includes an appearance by Prodrive chairman David Richards). Even though there’s still one round of the season to go in Sao Paulo, a dominant year for Anthony Davidson and Sébastien Buemi in the Toyota TS040 Hybrid – which includes four victories from six races – mean they only need to finish fifth to seal the title should closest rivals André Lotterer, Benoît Tréluyer and Marcel Faässler in the Audi R18 e-tron quattro take the win. Indicative of the season thus far – and much like last year – Toyota would once again take a dominant victory in Bahrain, but it would be #7 teammates Alexander Wurz, Stephane Sarrazin and Mike Conway who took the win, the sister #8 TS040 suffering alternator issues that cost them nearly an hour in the pits and dropped them to 11th at the flag. With no Audi finishing higher than 4th though, it was enough for the Davidson/Buemi duo to take the crown.
History was in the making then as we sat in Dubai’s departure lounge. Not that we were giving that much thought at the time.
“Is that him…?”
– Shots courtesy of David Benson