Toyota announced the replacement of Fernando Alonso with Brendon Hartley at its World Endurance Championship team, with the former F1 champion "looking to new adventures" within the Toyota Gazoo Racing family.
Alonso will complete his WEC campaign with the 24 Hours of Le Mans race, alongside Sébastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima, targeting to repeat last year’s victory.
While Toyota didn’t confirm Alonso’s next steps, the two-times F1 champion is expect to participate at the Dakar Rally, behind the wheel of a HiLux.
"I have enjoyed being part of Toyota Gazoo Racing in the WEC but this chapter is ending," said Fernando Alonso. "Winning Le Mans is one of the highlights of my career as part of my Triple Crown challenge and I will always remember that victory we achieved together as a team last year."
New Zealander Hartley is a two-times WEC champion and a Le Mans winner over four seasons with Porsche before trying his luck in F1. He will debut at the wheel of the TS050 Hybrid at the LeMans test day on June 2.
"A big thanks to Toyota Gazoo Racing for giving me this opportunity," Hartley said. "I know how professional and motivated this team is following my years competing against them in WEC, so I am fired up and am very happy to be joining them. I believe I am returning to WEC an even stronger driver following my experience in Formula 1 and I look forward to getting on track and building a strong relationship with my new team."