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Fernando Alonso is really looking forward to this weekend racing in the Rolex 24 at Daytona. So much so, you’d think he’d be more upset at his starting position, 13th. The man who is one of the best Formula 1 drivers in the world isn’t the least bit fazed.

“Knowing it’s a 24-hour race, it was probably the least important qualifying of my life until now,” Alonso told motorsport.com. “Normally I have 60 laps or 70 laps to recover what I did in qualifying; on Saturday we have 24 Hours.”

It’s all about perspective. Alonso wouldn’t have minded doing better, but the qualifying session served a higher purpose.

“It was nice to have some laps finally in the car with no traffic, in free practice there was a lot of traffic and a lot of things go on, but in the prototype qually, you can put some laps together and get used to the car a little bit more,” he said.

This is Alonso’s first time racing in the Rolex 24 and racing at Daytona. And while he’d like to be competitive and do well in the race, he’s got a bigger picture in mind.

“It’s a learning experience, a learning race, a preparation also if one day I attempt the 24 Hours of Le Mans,” said Alonso. “I need to respect that race, also this race, and know there are a lot of guys with more experience than me and more prepared than me. So, if I want to be as prepared as them, and to have the experience, this weekend is the perfect opportunity.”

Related: Daytona winner gives the do’s and dont’s of racing the superspeedway

Champion driver says qualifying at Daytona was ‘least important qualifying of my life’ Dan Istitene/Getty Images
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