Ex-F1 driver Rossi 'relieved' Alonso didn't win Dakar at first attempt

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Ex-Formula 1 and current IndyCar driver Alex Rossi admits he was "relieved" Fernando Alonso didn't win the Dakar Rally at the first try.

The Spaniard finished 13th in his Toyota Hilux, five hours behind winner and rallying legend Carlos Sainz Sr, during a rollercoaster 12 stages in Saudi Arabia which saw some crashes and also a best finish of second in Stage 10.

Alonso's first foray into off-roading naturally brought some extra attention to the event and while his performance earned the respect of his peers, Rossi admits it wouldn't have been good if he had turned up and won.

“I was kind of relieved he didn’t because it just shows that yes, he is one of the best racing drivers in the world, but that doesn’t mean that you can just go into a category where these guys have been doing it for their entire lives and beat them," he told Racer.

“That doesn’t really exist.”

There was also a little bit of ego involved in Rossi's interest as he too has dabbled in rallying by competing in the Baja 1000 in Mexico.

His latest attempt didn't go well, however, as he was forced to retire after rolling his Honda machine into a ditch.

“I wanted to see him do well but I don’t want to see him win it because that would annoy me!" the American admitted.

“I’ve done Baja now twice, I haven’t won my class, so it would really annoy me if he went and did his first desert race and won it.”

Alonso and Rossi are expected to share the same racetrack later this year as Fernando attempts the Indianapolis 500 for a third time in his quest to join Graham Hill in completing motorsport's Triple Crown.