Fernando Alonso to compete in 2019 Indianapolis 500 with McLaren as he attempts to complete Triple Crown

0
15

Fernando Alonso will compete in the 2019 Indianapolis 500 for McLaren. Alonso, who leaves Formula One at the end of the current season, first entered the Indy 500 in 2017 and led for 27 laps before retiring towards the end. 

He drove a McLaren entry then, with Honda power and the support of Andretti Autosport.

With an Indy 500 victory, the Spaniard would become only the second driver to take motosport’s Triple Crown, made up of victories in the Monaco Grand Prix, the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Indy 500.

Two-time F1 world champion Graham Hill is the only man to achieve the feat so far.  The 2019 and 103rd edition of the Indy 500 will take place on Sunday May 26. 

Although in 2017 McLaren’s entry was under the McLaren-Honda-Andretti banner, next year they will return under the McLaren Racing name, presumably racing in the team’s distinctive and characteristic papaya orange. 

Fernando Alonso of Spain, driver of the #29 McLaren-Honda-Andretti Honda, exits his car after his engine expired during the 101st Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motorspeedway on May 28, 2017 in Indianapolis, Indiana

Fernando Alonso retired from the closing stages of the 2017 Indy 500

Credit:
Getty Images

The two-time F1 world champion has endured a difficult few years at McLaren and has not won a race since 2013, when he raced for Ferrari. 

Alonso, who won the Le Mans 24 hours earlier this year, said:

“I’ve made clear for some time my desire to achieve the Triple Crown. I had an incredible experience at Indianapolis in 2017 and I knew in my heart of hearts I had to go back if the opportunity was there. I’m especially glad to be returning with McLaren.

This was always my first choice if the team decided to do it, so I’m delighted they’ve decided to go ahead. It’s a tough race and we’ll be up against the best, so it will be a huge challenge. But we’re racers and that’s why we race. One of the things I’m looking forward to most is seeing the fans again, who are absolutely fantastic.”

McLaren CEO Zak Brown said:

“We are relishing our return to the Brickyard and this incredible race. McLaren has a long and fond relationship with the Indianapolis 500 and it’s a case of unfinished business for us with Fernando.

No Indy 500 is a cakewalk, it’s a massive challenge. We have the utmost respect for the race and our competitors. So, we are under no illusions. But McLaren are racers first and foremost, as is Fernando. We’re going for it.”

Source : https://www.telegraph.co.uk/formula-1/2018/11/10/fernando-alonso-compete-2019-indianapolis-500-mclaren/