Welcome to The Grid, R&T's quick roundup of the auto industry and motorsports news you should know this morning.
Alonso at Le Mans?
This weekend, Fernando Alonso ran his first ever sports car race at the Daytona 24. While he didn't win, it was seen as a trial run for a possible run at Le Mans with Toyota. It's already been rumored that the Toyota deal is done, but that's not so, according to Alonso.
, Alonso said "if it's this year or not this year is still not 100 percent sure. It could happen, yes, but it's 50-50." Of course, Alonso has already tested Toyota's car and would have the best shot of winning the race if he did it with them. It's also been rumored that he has a carve out in his McLaren contract for Le Mans. We'll find out his Le Mans plans sooner than later.
Mercedes has had a proliferation of AMG-branded models recently with the addition of the AMG 43 cars. Now, Mercedes is adding the AMG 53 badged models of the CLS and E-Class. Those models are the first to use Mercedes's new straight-six and 48-volt system in the US.
With those models, Mercedes expects that AMG models will comprise . The goal is now 20 percent of sales in the US, which is what was sold in Canada in 2017. The more performance cars on the road, the better. At least that's what we think.
New Pavement at Barcelona
Barcelona is one of the favorite tracks for winter testing amongst all the F1 teams. But the track was in order to ensure it still has a place on the F1 calendar. What does this mean for testing data?
Pirelli believes that the track will change a lot over the course of testing, even though the track officials are trying to make the new tarmac match the old. That's basically impossible with new asphalt, so it'll be interesting to see what how it impacts the information teams glean from testing.