Fernando Alonso has called off a scheduled appearance at the US grand prix this weekend.
Sources have told the Spanish media that he was scheduled to be in Austin as a McLaren brand ambassador.
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It is also rumoured that McLaren may have used the occasion of Alonso's presence to announce that the 38-year-old will make another bid for Indy 500 victory next year.
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But after confirming that he will contest the famous Dakar rally next January, Alonso is instead testing with Toyota in Spain this week ahead of a rally in Saudi Arabia starting next Monday.
Despite that, the Spaniard admitted he is not realistically targeting the Dakar win.
"Based on experience, I would say that we cannot have that objective," he is quoted by El Mundo newspaper.
"But going into a race or a challenge thinking about a 0% chance would be stupid, which is why I say the likelihood is 1%," Alonso added.
At the same time, Alonso said he is not going to build a career in the off-road rallying world.
"I do not have it in mind to do Dakar every year," he said.
"But after this preparation and the knowledge, I will have, if I repeat the adventure someday I will be more prepared. But I would not put it at the level of the Indy challenge."