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Fernando Alonso to contest 2017 Indy 500 with McLaren, Honda and Andretti Autosport
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Fernando Alonso
Posted By: Editor   |  12 Apr 2017   |  11:29 am GMT  |  406 comments

Fernando Alonso and McLaren will make a shock appearance at the 2017 Indianapolis 500, which means the Spanish driver will miss this year’s Monaco Grand Prix.

Alonso will drive a single entry McLaren at the 101st running of the Indy 500, that will be powered by Honda and run by the Andretti Autosport team, which is headed by Michael Andretti, who raced in F1 for the Woking-based team in 1993.

The car will be a standard IndyCar DW12 chassis powered by a Honda 2.2-litre twin-turbo V6 engine, limited by regulations to 12,000rpm. It will be Alonso’s first appearance at IndyCar’s headline event and also the first time he will race on a high-speed oval course.

Fernando Alonso

As the 2017 Indy 500 takes place on the same day as the Monaco Grand Prix, McLaren will replace Alonso on a one-off basis, but it is not yet clear who the team will field.

An official McLaren statement announcing the news explained that the team would “announce the identity of the driver who will race Fernando’s car at Monaco” in due course. Jenson Button is the British team’s reserve driver for the 2017 season.

Speaking as the news was announced, Alonso said: “I’m immensely excited that I’ll be racing in this year’s Indy 500, with McLaren, Honda and Andretti Autosport.

“The Indy 500 is one of the most famous races on the global motorsport calendar, rivalled only by the Le Mans 24 Hours and the Monaco Grand Prix and it’s of course a regret of mine that I won’t be able to race at Monaco this year. But Monaco will be the only 2017 Grand Prix I’ll be missing, and I’ll be back in the cockpit of the McLaren-Honda MCL32 for the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal in early June.

Fernando Alonso

“I’ve never raced an IndyCar car before, and neither have I ever driven on a super-speedway, but I’m confident that I’ll get to grips with it fast. I’ve watched a lot of IndyCar action on TV and online, and it’s clear that great precision is required to race in close proximity with other cars on the far side of 220mph.

“I realise I’ll be on a steep learning curve, but I’ll be flying to Indianapolis from Barcelona immediately after the Spanish Grand Prix, practising our McLaren-Honda-Andretti car at Indy from May 15th onwards, hopefully clocking up a large number of miles every day, and I know how good the Andretti Autosport guys are. I’ll be proud to race with them, and I intend to mine their knowledge and expertise for as much info as I possibly can.”

Alonso also added that his entry into the 2017 Indy 500 was the first part of his plan to become the second driver in history to win the ‘Triple Crown of Motorsport’ – the Monaco Grand, Indianapolis and the Le Mans 24 Hours. Graham Hill is the only driver to have won all three events.

WEC Le Mans

“I’ve won the Monaco Grand Prix twice, and it’s one of my ambitions to win the Triple Crown which has been achieved by only one driver in the history of motorsport: Graham Hill,” said Alonso. “It’s a tough challenge, but I’m up for it. I don’t know when I’m going to race at Le Mans, but one day I intend to. I’m only 35: I’ve got plenty of time for that.”

McLaren has raced at Indianapolis in the past and won the 500-mile race in 1974 and 1976 with American driver Johnny Rutherford. A McLaren chassis that was entered by the Penske team also won the race in 1972.

Zak Brown, McLaren’s executive director, confirmed that Alonso’s car would be painted in the team’s historic orange livery, which it has brought back to F1 for 2017.

McLaren Indy 500

He said: “Our car – the McLaren-Honda-Andretti – will be decked out in the papaya orange livery made famous by our founder Bruce McLaren, and in which Johnny Rutherford drove McLaren IndyCars to Indy 500 victory in both 1974 and 1976.”

McLaren has faced a tough start to the 2017 season after two difficult years with Honda’s first attempts to crack F1’s V6 turbo hybrid power units. Brown explained that the team was “very committed” to its partnership with the Japanese manufacturer at last weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix, but Alonso has grown increasingly frustrated at the lack of progression that has been made in their attempts to move up the F1 grid.

The 35-year-old has expressed his desire to race on in F1 in 2018 although there have been repeated rumours that he could switch to sportscar racing in an attempt to win Le Mans.


Even before the 2017 season got underway McLaren was explaining what it had to do to persuade Alonso to stick with the team beyond this year, which is the final year of the three-year deal he signed at the end of 2014.

Honda-powered cars have taken eight of the last ten Indy 500 victories and IndyCar rookie – and former F1 driver – Alexander Rossi, won the 2016 event. Could the next step of Alonso’s triple crown by on the cards on 28 May?

What do you make of the news that Alonso will race in the 2017 Indy 500? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below or head over to the JA on F1 Facebook page for more discussion.

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Amazing news, I'd love to see Fernando do well at Indy, his drives in Australia and China were outstanding!


Alex Butters, I couldn't agree more. this news has livened up 2017 Motorsport!


I would be shocked if this drive did not come with a commitment to McLaren longterm, the car has the McLaren name on it! This is McLaren and Honda saying sorry, but stick with us and we will stick with you.


Sorry its April 12th now.

OK well full marks to ALO for bravery. Going straight to the 500 takes big nuts if you ask me. He will be gutted if its a wet Monaco and Stoffel takes the first F1 win for McHonda.

I really he hope he smokes them at Indy. Nige did OK in his first season and Zanardi was no slouch either.

Good luck


It'll think there's a bigger chance of Bottas beating Hamilton this year than Stoffel winning a wet Monaco. Judging by the last wet races there are only two serious contenders: Hamilton and Verstappen. Since Monaco is Verstappen's Achilles heel, it'll be a win for Hamilton. If he can get that long wheel based Mercedes around those tight corners, of course.

Come to think of it, Vettel Wil win. Hamilton will get stuck in his stretched limo, Verstappen wil run off every session, and the two R's are just not up to the challenge this year.

Seriously though, I hope Alonso will win the triple crown. He's got the skills, but his karma is awful.


Alonso's possible replacement is also known to be pretty handy if the weather is fickle. If there's truth in Fernando's claim that his car is the fastest in the corners, I wouldn't rule out some sort of McLaren success if the Monaco GP is wet.


You're joking right McLaren will have a hard time winning even if the top three teams take out on a monsoon wet Monaco...
Alonso atleast has a chance to fight in Indy so a pretty good decision


It's not impossible - Honda could make a major breakthrough between now and Monaco. It seems improbably, though, and if it was anything but improbable, Alonso wouldn't be running the 500 this year. That's the subtext to this decision - this is a consolation prize for a star driver going to waste.


He will be gutted if its a wet Monaco and Stoffel takes the first F1 win for McHonda.

That would have been like Bianchi winning for Manor in 2014.


You seem to underestimate manor 😉


Or a honda powered ligier winning back in 96


It is bad for IndyCar to have an F1 guy come in and win it. Would make IndyCar guys look a bit sub par. I wonder how it will all play out I guess we'll have to watch. Memorial day weekend is killer motorsports weekend, with more F1 content this year.


Indy has plenty of history of ex-F1 drivers who either never made it or were past their best going and doing very well. Nigel Mansell one the championship at the first try. I think Fittipaldi won the Indy 500 that year, 20 years after winning the F1 WDC.


Think of the positives for both series, not so negative it's easy to thumbs down an idea.. this is the best type of marketing for both F1 and Ind car I can think of


@ Sebee...To cap this momentous announcement , they, F1 and Indy cars, should announce a reciprocating drive in Monaco with an Indy car driver. Now that i would like to see.


See, the difference is that Alonso will get a car and seat that has a chance.

Formula 1 would never give a guest driver a car capable if winning anything. It would undermine their drivers image. Meaning it's a lose scenario for the guest driver. He'd only likely look foolish. It how F1 rolls.


I keep hoping a front-running LMP1 team will sign Jacques Villeneuve so he can try and become the second man to hold motorsport's Triple Crown. Though thinking about it, Alonso has a better chance of winning the Indy next month and then Le Mans when he's older.


Ken.......Good comment. I'd like to see that too. Might get a bit of publicity among the rev heads in the States.


Equally bad for F1 to lose a top driver & drawcard to serious injury or death.
My biggest concern for FA is crashing on unfamiliar oval course. They are bloody dangerous and unforgiving. There's no 300kph corners in F1 ringed by concrete with no run offs.
Hope he does well and doesn't have an accident. I've come to love the guy since Webbers retirement.


That's a very valid point. Some ovals are more dangerous than others and there hasn't been a driver fatality at Indy since 2003, but safety standards are simply not what they are in F1 (as the deaths of Dan Wheldon and Justin Wilson attest).


It hasn't in the past and it will not in the future. Its a big win-win all round for Indy 500 and more importantly, the fans.


The Indy 500 race is subject to something we all call 'luck'. Skill, courage, and intelligence are absolutely essential, experience is tremendously valuable, but there is a lot of all those things in IndyCar. All these things can be overwhelmed by 'luck', as in Mansell's being overrun on the pit road...


Rhythm also mate which Alonso has bucket loads of...and yes a bit of luck.

Totally blown away by this news. I am thinking yes! Of course! Why not?


Guess what, a former F1 diver is on top of Indy if I am not wrong. Poor Alonso, he has to face another... 'Sebastian', Sebastien Bourdais this time, #1 in standings


I don't mean to be disrespectful, but it seems as though, and history has shown that. F1 drivers have been more competitive in Indy Cars, rather than Indy drivers who try a hand in F1.

I can't wait to see how Fernando might do, and will be over the moon if he's victorious.


What 3 former F1 drivers have had more success in Indycar than Mario Andretti, Jacque Villeneuve, and Montoya had in F1?

I'll give you Nigel, there's one...still need two more though...


You certainly see some quite mediocre F1 drivers become very competitive in American open wheel - Franck Montagny, Takuma Sato etc. There's an awful lot of nuance and experience needed to challenge for wins consistently in oval racing, though. That's one reason why the drivers remain competitive until they're relatively old.

I think it's a massive PR victory for Indycar, though. I'm seriously thinking about watching the race live now, when ordinarily I just keep an eye on the qualifying times and catch the highlights afterwards.


@malcolm, not to do with respect. The difference is that all teams in Indycar have a fighting chance, though the bigger teams have more resources like Penske, Ganassi and Andretti; so a driver from F1 has a decent chance to show his true ability. In F1, unless you're in a top-3 team, it's pretty hard to make an impression. Look at Fernando himself. He says he's driving like an "animal" and having his best performances ever, and yet, it's completely hidden by his uncompetitive ride.

As for how Fernando will do, he's making all the right comments, and it shows he's actually studied how the drivers have to negotiate a super speedway. That's good. And it's good that Fernando is going to a team with a lot of resources, so he'll benefit from the setups of his teammates, so he should be able to step right into a car with a safe and fast setup. Usually, a 6th car in a single team means a team is going to be stretched for resources, and the 4th/5th/6th car will suffer, because the staff are all temporary. Sure, they may be from the team, but they're the FT lorry driver who is now going to change the front right wheel, that sort of thing. Luckily for Fernando, is that he's not your usual one-time driver. Honda will make sure he's got the best of everything. And McLaren will likely send plenty of their engineering and mechanics, so Fernando won't lack for resources. That's all good, but it's a total unknown how Fernando will adapt to the speed and 500 miles. Some drivers adapt and some don't.


To be fair, I think Alonso has seriously flattered the McLaren in both races so far.


Hi Ken,

Totally agree mate, plus a few chats and some feedback from Montoya won't hurt either. I'd also give Nigel and JV a call!


Well, the IRL drivers ARE arguably somewhat sub-par. :/
While EffWun undoubtedly wastes zillions on pointless hardware, they do generally find the best drivers available.
I just hope Fernando doesn't have to watch Button put the lump on Pole at a wet Monaco, then go on to podium. 😉


Lol Sebee, that's exactly what happened last year. It doesn't make anyone look bad, it all depends on the circumstances. And I'll put a 5er on Alonso not dominating the weekend. He might do well enough, maybe even win, but he won't dominate.


Not really. Rossi signed up with the team for the season before season start and won 2016 edition, and I believe he resigned to stay in IndyCar, right?


Awesome, he might as well have some fun this year. Good luck to him.

I can see the queue of drivers eager to jump into his seat for Monaco... oh! sorry , that's the line for McDonalds, not McLaren.


Obviously, every sentence that has been quoted in this article as being said by Alonso has come from a copywriter after having gone through various rounds of approval within the organisation (he doesn't speak like this himself). One stands out:

But Monaco will be the only 2017 Grand Prix I’ll be missing, and I’ll be back in the cockpit of the McLaren-Honda MCL32 for the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal in early June. it 😀


Well, good for him! It will add some extra spice to watching the 500 this year. Plus Honda is currently the best engine in Indycar ... they've won both races to date.

I'm interested at the partnership between Andretti Autosport and McLaren ... I guess Michael has made up with McLaren, after the rough ride he had there in '93.


Ideally one of the Andretti team will come over to Monaco and drive Alonso's car. That would create a real buzz in the USA.


Don't you think it's Honda"s way of saying " look, we can make fast engines actually"😳


they would probably do ok in F1 if they bored the engines out to 2.2 litres and bolted on a second turbo!


Could be ... they better hope his engine doesn't expire early doors there ... or near the end ... or at all!


Actually Honda are already dominating at Indycar this year


I know, that's the point😉


Completely agree, its good for motorsport and fans, If he has got a competitive care I do hope he can have a good run at it, at the minimum it should be great learning to achieve this in later years.
Would be an amazing achievement and acknowledgement of all around ability to pull it off - seems fitting for a great driver who has not been able to showcase his skills at the front the last few years as we all want to see.


I guess that's how McLaren Honda will try to keep Alonso, be enabling this effort and putting together Le Mans car for him.

Can someone remind me what category Hill won Le Mans in? Did they have categories? I don't know my Le Mans history.


I don't know about trying to keep Alonso, i think this is the thin edge of the wedge and we'll be lucky to see ALO back in the car after Indy or at least on a full time basis.
Maybe he'll get a drive for LeMans and Bathurst ... now that would be awesome! Stuff the triple crown, go for the quadruple crown.


Well, he was 1st overall and 1st in class. Would just a class win qualify for Triple Crown recognition? I wouldn't think so.


I was wondering the same thing. I guess McLaren could prep one of their models for GTE Pro class. A win in class is still a win. No way they will got for a LMP entry, and not likely he can drive a Toyota entry. But I don't see much conflict or overlap on products with Porsche. I'm sure they'd have Alonso. Mark was there. Managed by Flavio right? Friends. Contacts are in place, etc. So Alonso has options.


Wiki says it was the S 3.0 class. A Matra-Simca MS670 chassis with a 3L V12. More on that here:


Thank you BurgerF1.

Wow. 55 starters, 18 finishers classified, a driver killed, F1 inspired cars. My goodness.


Graham Hill won Le Mans in a Matra-Simca MS 670B sports prototype, teamed with Henri Pescarolo. It was a Matra whitewash that year. Ferrari, who dominated the rest of the season (which Matra did not take part in), did not show up with their 312s as they were concerned that the engine would not last the distance. Alfa Romeo was the other significant prototype competitor that year, but they were not at Ferrari or Matra's level. The was the first year of a rule change which had outlawed the awesome 5 liter prototypes (i.e. most notably the Porsche 917s) which had won the prior two years.


Wow. Like you were there!

I wonder what the 2017 edition of 24 will look like. Will Porsche be challenged by Toyota? If Alonso was to race in LMP2, and win in that category, would that count toward his triple crown? Or must he win it outright in an LMP1 car for it to count?


Bonkers...but why not! Perhaps he senses a third world title is not going to happen so he's looking to cement his legend by other means. Just hope he doesn't hurt himself...oval racing bites hard!


It does, just ask Hinchcliffe from 2015! He almost bled out in his car, after a big crash in practice. Happy to say that Hinchtown won last Sunday for the first time since then.


I shed a tear when Hinche won last Sunday, that was beautiful to see 🙂

Reading through all these comments, it's surprising to see how many people are concerned for his well being. Yet no one seems to be at all worried about him starting the Bahrain GP....kind of speaks to how on the limit open wheel oval racing is compared to relative safety of F1.


It was great to see.

As for safety, I think it's more the pack racing in Indy that's dangerous. Remember that crazy race in Fontana, where they had the most lead changes ever, and it was easy for those behind to catch up and keep up? That's when it gets really dangerous. Indycar I think has got it about right now, so there should be nothing like that at this year's Indy, but there will always be some side-by-side while humming along at big time speed.


well oval racing is at least an option to get bored to death
But it's nice to see people do like it.


The Andretti-Honda will be re-branded as McLaren-Honda.

Gosh! What a smart move - labelling is key in this copy-paste world.
Or will a McLaren chassis replace the Dallara?
(Probably not)


I hope McLaren use some knowhow here to give Alonso the edge he needs to win. IndyCar winds surely will be against him to a degree. Outsider coming in to win their crown jewel on 1st go?


I imagine that the only 'knowhow' Andretti would require from McLaren is the typeface required for the badge-engineering exercise.


...not even a little info about aero or wing stalling? Didn't they come up with that little knee hole F-Duct? Wouldn't something like that help with top speed?


Not that he's there anymore, but Adrian Newey cut his teeth in Indycar way back when.


Yup. I stepped into that one. It was early and I just woke up. McLaren has ben skating on history for some time.


i think it's the wrong move for alonso. what is the point in that?


"i think it's the wrong move for alonso"

Wouldn't that be surprising...

"Here's your car Alonso, it's the fastest one by a mile!" 😀

Five minutes later...

"I thought you said it was fast?"
"Well, it used to be fast..." 😐


At least he got his two WDC's Random. Webber had worse luck & made worse descisons in his career.
Here's a Renault that's going to win the WDC or here's a bucket of bolts Williams...your choice? Williams!
Ok, here's a RBR that's going to win the WDC...and say hello to Sebastian here!
FA was very close to another two or three WDC's...little bit more luck and yep, wiser choices (2007 saga)and we'd be talking about a 5 time WDC.


Webber had some bad luck, no question.

As for the rest: Hindsight.


if i would have participated and won all races i would have been WC.
Think about that..


Or, just the fact that Alonso could have been driving that Ferrari at the front of the field if he hadn't talked himself out of that ride.


Ahhh, but if Alonso hadn't talked himself out of that ride would it still be at the front of the field?

A zen question for the ages 🙂


i see your now humour... skimmed through earlier.


random79.....its always best to quote my words rather than use the ones which would best serve your intentions.
alonso doesn't need indy 500. he is just fine as he is. he should focus on convincing honda to employ engine experts who could help them build a better engine for him to race in f1 with rather than wasting his time energy and emotion in an indy 500 race. completely bonkers!


"alonso doesn't need indy 500. he is just fine as he is. "

Well, Alonso doesn't agree with you.


zack brown is leading alonso down the wrong path..
even hulkenberg says he wouldn't do what alonso's announced he'd do next month..


hey, we're all talking about McHonda, so goal achieved


spot on..


Aveli=Avelino? Now there's sumthin I hadn't anticipated!


it's nothing but a typo.


And here I was thinking you were trying to talk yourself out of leaving that comment 😉


and why would i ever want to do that random 79?


And when did you speak to Alonso to find out what he really needs.
At least Honda are giving FA a chance of winning " something this year, because it doesn't look like it's happening in F1 this year.


alonso told us all at the beginning of the season that he needs to be fighting up front in f1. were you not paying attention?


"its always best to quote my words "

Look again and you'll find that they are your words - I did cut and paste them after all 😉

Anyway, Alonso might disagree that he is "fine" - He's one of the oldest F1 drivers driving one of the slowest F1 cars which is never a good thing, and it's not going to get him his elusive 3rd WDC any time soon so why not try and achieve one of his other goals?

In that respect I say good on him for doing something constructive 🙂

On the other hand, I fully agree that he should be convincing (and by convincing I mean arguing/pleading/cajoling/slapping around/whatever works) the Honda engineers to get some outside help.

Sure they'll lose some face, but how much face are they losing now?

In the meantime, it might be nice to see Alonso in a race that he might actually have a chance of winning 🙂

It might be crazy, but I'm sure he'll enjoy it much than he's enjoying F1 right now 🙂


how do you know he'll have a chance on winning that one race?
he doesn't even know what the car he'll be driving looks like. that race will take place at the end of next month. what are his testing plans?


"how do you know he'll have a chance on winning that one race?"

^ See, copy and paste 😉

Simple really: Driver+Car=Chance to win, however unlikely.

Think Steven Bradbury with a pair of ice skates - Anything can happen 🙂

But do I think that Alonso has a *good* chance of winning? No idea - Like you said, first he has to see the car and then we'll see how he goes, but if anyone can do it Alonso can 🙂


alonso says he's doing it because he wants to be the best driver in the world and yet he's competing against the best drivers in the world and can't score any points so by going to race among poor drivers he'll look good. hamilton said alonso will be the best driver in the indy paddock.
how will that make alonso greater than he is now?
it is a complete waste of time. nothing but a talking point.


He is doing it because he can and he is sick of fighting in the middle of the pack with a crap car. It's as simple as that, he is getting old, he has a chance to do something different, Indy 500 is not a small race.

He is currently fighting against some of the best yes but he can't because of his car.

It's a waste of time? for who, for you? don't watch then.


thanks regis but alonso has given his reasons why he's decided to race in indy 500 this year. his reasons include wanting to be the best in the world but didn't include "because he can." i don't know where you got that from.
none of the real f1 teams principals would let their driver skip a race for a lower league race and none of the drivers would miss an f1 race for indy 500. racing again a lower league of drivers wouldn't show that he's the best in the world, will it?
i'll be at monaco and paid for my flight hotel and tickets with the knowledge that all the 2017 drivers including alonso would race and now alonso says he won't race in monaco...
it's alright for you as it's not cost you any money..


i hope he changes his mind and races in monaco because i'll be there.


I don't understand how any motorsport fan could legitimately ask "what is the point" in trying for the Triple Crown.


the notion that the Indy 500 is or ever was " the greatest race on earth" is some hick's fantasy.

Honda need to sell cars. Alonso just keeps getting it wrong and the Mclaren team is a shambles. This stunt proves it.

Why not do NASCAR next ?


or indy light 😉 He already knows the engine side...


are you sure you understand what a motorsport fan means? hamilton is the ultimate motorsport fan. everyone should emulate hamilton. he promotes the sport better drives better engage with the fans better. he loves the sport, he doesn't turn his back on it, he helps to make it better for everyone. i understand how you feel though.


when you talk of great drivers, the names schumacher fangio senna clarke prost hamilton and vettel are mentined. did any of them try for that tripple hairband?
there is your answer.


Do your homework -- "clarke" (sic) ...? yes, Jim Clark raced in all three events. So did Fangio.

Then there's two-time World Champion Graham Hill, the only driver to have actually achieved the Triple Crown.


Aveli - The answer to your question is, well, yes and no.

The older era drivers, Brabham, Clarke, Hill, Stewart and so on all had the opportunity to race at Indy 500, Monaco and LeMans. So yes they 'did' try to win them.

Unfortunately the latter era drivers, Senna, Schumacher etc couldn't since the schedules of the three series prevented them from even driving however Senna did test for all three series and he raced at LeMans finishing sixth.

Ask any race driver if they want to win them and i am sure that the answer is 'yes'...there is the real answer


no driver has ever been described as great because they won indy 500.
senna and schumacher haven't but they are often described as the greatest..


No driver has ever been described as great because they won the Indy 500
That depends on where you come from. In America AJ Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears are all legends because of their multiple Indy 500 wins.


doesn't matter where am from or where you are from. f1 drivers are the best in the world and if alonso really wants to show that he's the best in the world he should race against the best instead of racing in lower leagues against less able drivers to make himself look good.


none of those indy or le man winning f1 drivers are called great because they won indy or and le man. mark blundell is a le man winner.


Schumacher did Le Mans, Fangio did Indy and Le Mans, Senna did sportscars with Porsche and tested Indy with Penske, Jim Clark did both Indy and Le Mans. Hamilton and Vettel aren't old enough to have done it all yet.


have you ever heard anyone say schumacher is great for racing anything other than racing f1 cars?


Schumacher, Fangio, Prost, Vettel, etc.


are they known for doing that or driving in f1.
alonso said he wanted a third title. is that how to go about it?


Clark saw fit to miss Monaco in favor of Indy. Hill won at Indy, and five times at Monaco. Jackie Stewart raced in both, as did Mario Andretti and Dan Gurney. Clark, Gurney, and Andretti also competed in NASCAR, Andretti having won the Daytona 500 in addition to his Indy 500, USAC and F1 titles. Add Jack Brabham and Denny Hulme to the list of F1 champions who have raced at Indy.

In short, time was when the greats didn't limit themselves to one discipline. This is a throwback to an earlier time.

Forget the Triple Crown a second; Andretti was in with a shout to have the Grand Slam: Indy, Daytona, Monaco, and LeMans. Alonso could conceivably go for that as well, McLaren having deep history with Chevrolet, it's easy to imagine in a NASCAR Chevy (with Penske, maybe, or even Hendrick) next February.

Bottom line, as Mario famously said: " If you can drive, you can drive, period."


the indy guys think it'll be easy for alonso....and can't believe alonso is giving up monaco to come and run with them...


He's going for the Triple Crown, what's not to like?


Am I missing something... You can only go for the Triple Crown if you have already WON Le Mans and Monaco right? Other wise he is running the second leg of a possible FUTURE triple crown, in the middle of the season of the main sport he collects his regular paycheck from! What is going on at McLaren... Ron Dennis must be banging his head against the retirement home wall!


Ok, he's going for the 2nd leg of a Triple Crown. Ultimate aim is the Triple Crown.

Maybe Ron's banging his head against a rubber wall instead? 😉


tripple hairband, more like. it is a complete waste of talent.


The current McLaren is a complete waste of his talent.
The Indy500 should showcase his talent, providing he's given a car capable of winning.


So what do you suggest he does with it then. It doesn't look like McHonda are gonna win in Monaco, but they've got more of a chance at the Indy 500. Good place to show his wasted talent wouldn't you say.


i suggest he tries to convince honda to get in engine experts to help them build winning engines..
great drivers know how to identify poor characteristics in cars and know how to fix them..


@aveli/aveli no
Well, with all your expertise in this area, I'm amazed your not a F1 driver advisor. You seem to be more sure of the answers than all the professionals that surround these people.
I think it's great he's doing it. At least he's got a chance of winning something this year.🍻


not surprised hulkenberg and hamilton say they'll never do what alonso's proposed to do.
i hope he changes his mind..


Hamilton says he would like to try moto gp or NASCAR. Internationally, the Indy500 is much bigger than NASCAR I believe. I hope he doesn't change his mind. But I hope he doesn't get injured or ruin his career.


hamilton did say he wouldn't skip a race for another series and expressed what he'd liked like to try. he didn't say he'd like to do that to show how great he is. i do not wish for any one to be hurt doing anything or ruining their career for that matter.
alonso's making the wrong move motivated by the wrong emotion!


Alonso is making the right move for the right reason. He has made a personal choice, now that he is not restricted by Team management or Bernie.


which of alonso's moves were the right ones?
renault to maclaren?
maclaren to renault?
renault to ferrari?
ferrari to maclare?
please put me out of my misery, why don't you?


i make my contributions on here and hopefully they access it..


But McL problems are far worse then a engine.
The chassis falls apart during the race, driveshaft break, electrical failures, etc.. It's a disgrace.


he should be pressuring honda to bring in some engine experts to help them build winning engines instead of going off on a gimmick race.


What's the point in that?

Alonso has been fighting for the last two years at the back of the grid. As I have said earlier here is a chance for him to fight for a Victory. As he said that winning the treble is one of his ambitions, this could be his best opportunity for him to win the Indy.


if it is such a great achievement what makes you think he can walk in and win it at his first attempt? unless you think the competitors are so rubbish that he'd walk it.


Because he is Alonso.
Once upon a time he also believed he was capable of making it in another big motorsport. With relatively speaking no experience or even race wins, aged low twenties, he came and did something...special. Beating a certain multiple champion in that category so bad he went to premature retirement soon after.
Being so knowledgeable, maybe you know the name of that famous motorsport?


quattro did that once upon a time include s rookie hamilton in 2007 by any chance?
the name of that motorsport?


avelino, how could I forget. You are referring to the rookie that failed to outscore his team mate ALO despite having the whole team including the team boss, with all advantages that brings, on his side.

ALO would love to give him another go at it next year. The question is, does HAM dare to accept the challenge. By the looks of it looks the answer is a big No. 😉


am talking about the rookie who overtook alonso on the very first corner of the very first race of the season only for the team to reverse them in the pit stops for alonso's championship challenge. the same rookie who gave alonso a driving lesson in monaco which convinced the team to allow them to race. from then on the rookie gave the then double world champion more driving lessons. so much more that alonso tried to destroy his own team, ran away from a top team to a mid field team and pestered ferrari for a drive until they put aside their only champion since schumacher for alonso to drive for them, resulting in no championships.....alonso did a runner again to a midfield team, now complaining of lack of performance and wanting to race among inferior drivers for the sole purpose of him looking good amongst them.


avelino. maybe because FA is a legend and one of the greats of all time. he can compete and win in any category. just like another legend - JPM!!


avelino - Nine drivers have won in their first attempt - three (3) since 2000. So its not impossible and it certainly doesn't detract from the others.


yes they have won indy 500 but are they called great because they won indy? is mark blundell called great because he won le man?
alonso is simply many another bad choice.


Tom Kristensen won Le Mans 9 times, I'd say that makes him a motorsport great. Motor racing isn't all about Formula 1


we all know that the best drivers are f1 drivers so alonso should focus on f1 racing to show that he's the best driver in the world instead of trying to race against drivers in a lower league.


that's not a chance for anything. it's simply a distraction from the nightmares he's suffered over the years.


Or McHondas way of saying sorry🤔


Think how dispiriting this is for the McLaren race crew. Your star driver, the highest paid employee, and the main attraction in your team left the seasons most prestigious race for a meaningless gesture in a series that your team does not even compete in officially!

Monaco is the one race of the year where engine power means nothing, its all about efficient aero, chassis stability and driver control. The one race a driver like Alonso can steal a good result without having to worry about engine performance!


With Liberty wanting to increase F1's profile in the US , it's not a bad way to put Formula 1 squarely in front of American motorsport fans. Might sell a few Mclarens as well.



It's more likely to make him stay long term so better than treading water ALL year


No you are wrong on this one James


true james, a sweetener.


Yeah, 20 GPs of being lapped...what's not to 'love' about that!


Bernie once said that the most important race of the year is... Monaco.
It is in that weekend that the most important sponsorship contracts are signed.
So if the McLaren staff is not there and if Alonso will be released in the Monaco and Le Mans events {race + qualy}, what's the point of sponsoring that team.
No WDC and WCC if the main driver skip those races.
IMO, McLaren/Fernado is dissing the Monaco GP and F1 overall by focusing in other racing series.
Giving all this freedom to Alonso is like pampering an - already - spoiled child.


they just want to add a little sugar to keep alonso for longer..a little break from the negative questions from the journalists..

Aaron Fothergill

Apart from the awesomeness of Alonso having a go at the Indy 500, I wonder if it'll also boost the relationship between Alonso and the Honda engine team? Isn't the Honda engine pretty much dominant in Indy Car now?


2 engine types in the field. I think IndyCar regulates that.

The dominant cars are Penske's cars running Chevy engines. But the Honda powered cars are pretty competitive. Its not like Honda in F1


it will boost nothing, some marketing man saw how hulkenburg got a lot of glory for his le man victory and thought alonso would gain recognition for it. alonso doesn't need it. he is a double driver world champion at the pinnacle of motorsport he doesnt need anything from there.
did you not hear hamilton in china when he was informed that verstappen was voted driver of they day? he said he'd rather stand on the top step of the podium. he knows exactly where his priorities are. hamilton is the ultimate motorsport fan. that's why he is able to make the right decsions about which team he joins, whether he needs a manager or not whether he needs a trainer or not, whether he sits back and allow journalist to distort his narrative or take charge and engage directly with the fans, or take charge and promote his sport in ways no one in the history of the spot has ever done. the list goes on.


@aveli my word, we all got a free speech about how great Hamilton is now from you.. in several comments, even though nobody asked for it. And the moral of your story was about not wasting one's time? The irony.


are you suggesting that i can only express my opinion when i'm asked?
i grew up knowing i can express my opinion whenever i want. sorry if you were taught different.


that's why he is able to make the right decsions about which team he joins, whether he needs a manager or not whether he needs a trainer or not, whether he sits back and allow journalist to distort his narrative or take charge and engage directly with the fans, or take charge and promote his sport in ways no one in the history of the spot has ever done. the list goes on.

It's kind of strange that in an article about another driver you would take the time to... well basically post the stuff you post every other day about Hamilton. If Lewis were the one doing this, I'm quite certain you'd be bragging about what great publicity he brings to F1. More to your point, Lewis has only once decided "which team he goes to" as he only has one career move. It was a great decision, so well done to him. Now that hardly sets a trend and let's not pretend otherwise. The way you write one would think that Merc's success is up to Lewis, and while he wins Championships (and he hasn't for more than a year now) that might be an appealing fiction, but fiction it remains. Lewis needs Merc far more than Merc needs him, because there is plenty of talent available (and I'm not thinking Bottas here).

Alonso does this because it's a good opportunity for him to show what he's worth rather than indefinitely trundling in the back in the orange livery. You could argue that there's a certain desperation in it... but these guys all reek of desperation when they're not winning. I have certainly felt that off Fernand, Sebastian and yes, Lewis when he hasn't been winning.


Well put Rafa. Mercedes particularly over the last 3 years don't need any driver at all, its Lewis and Nico who needed them. They are so superior Daniel, Alonso, Vettel, Button could have substituted in and won the WDCs. Maybe this is finally a year where they'll actually need some true talent, time will tell.


mercedes chased after hamilton's services while schumacher drove for them. hamilton approached ron dennis for a drive at the tender age of 10. he has made great choices ever since.
we all heard hamilton threatened to leave mercedes last season, not the other way around. who needs who more?
hamilton says he knows how to fix it if the car's not fast enough to win....


To me, Alonso is a 'racer'.

My guess is that Alonso started this process. He told McLaren-Honda that he'd like to race at Indy. The Honda people looked at it and said yes. They could make it happen, and they likede the idea. Andretti racing obviously liked the idea. McLaren at least said that they could go along with it, but were probably a bit disappointed that they'd miss out on Alonso at Monaco which apparently one of their chances at getting points early in the year.

I hope Alonso gets to meet people like AJ Foyt. Another 'racer' who'd hop into any car at any time and race it just for the fun of it. I suspect they'd get along wonderfully. Too bad Tony Stewart of Stewart-Haas racing will be in Charlotte for the NASCAR race, and that's another "racer's racer" who I think would get along just fine with another "racer's racer" like Alonso.


alonso didn't start this process because last season mclaren was trash talking themselves up, claiming that they are the next team to dominate f1 after mercedes'. alonso was made to believe that and he came into this season hoping to be in the fight at the front only to find out that they haven't got a chance at that.
maclaren think they are being creative in keeping the media off alonso's back about his retirement plans but they are simply devaluing alonso's stocks by offering him such a move. they don't even have a car yet. monaco is on the 26th of next month. talk about a rushed job. is that how a winning team prepares?
pull the other leg, please.


Whaaaaat!!! Where on earth did this come from?! That's fantastic, when was the last time a current F1 driver did the Indy 500 as well. the sixities? I am quite simply flabbergasted, brilliant news for the sport, incredibly brave of Fernando, I really am stunned!


Mansell nearly won in his first attempt didn't he?


He was leading at Lap 184 (of 200) at a restart, but screwed up the restart and was passed soon after, by another F1 Champion (Fittipaldi). Of course Nige took the CART title in his first year.


I was sitting in turn three, where Emmo got the jump on Nigel. Sigh...
I was so bummed. And that was the year Emerson offended half of Indiana by refusing to "drink the milk" and instead insisted "I drink the orange juice!"


@ Gary...I've never got over the 'drink of milk' for the Indy winner. If ever a celebration called for something special it simply has to be French and have loads of bubbles!!!! Milk ?


Jamesk, yes he did, but he was retired from F1 by then, very impressive stuff from Fernando in my view.


Correct. I apologize. I too, think it's great👍. I hope he wins, he deserves that at least👏


JamesK, winning would be a big ask, but a decent showing would be impressive in my view.


For how long has Monaco been run on the American Memorial Day holiday. Indy is always on that Sunday, so there's always a conflict. At best a driver would have to get permission to skip Monaco to drive Indy.

BTW, Mansell had retired from F1 when he finished his career with a couple of seasons in Indycar. Thus, Nigel was not an 'active' F1 driver when he raced at Indy.


Back in the 70s Monaco used to be on qualifying weekend at Indy, not race day.


Nigel Mansell


Dysign, Our Nige had retired from F1 to do Indycats, so wasn't an active F1 driver. I meant a driver competing in the F1 championship and doing the 500 in the same year.


Well in 1994 Mansell was doing his 2nd CART season, but also competed in 4 Grands Prix through the year. The first of those was the French GP, which was July 3rd, while the Indy 500 that year was on May 29th. Close enough, no?


Krb, close but he was more of an active Indycar driver doing a few F1 rounds. Still 23 years ago! Feeling old now....


Nigel Mansell.


It's a spec series so unfortunately no. Everyone has to use a Dallara chassis


No need to be stunned TimW
IndyCar Honda engines are better than their F1 attempt.
It's Honda appeasing Alonso with a gold nugget of IndyCar 500.
Something happened at Mclaren
whereby Alonso must've got his bags packed ready for the exit door.
Assume Mclaren and Honda had this golden ticket ready for Alonso "Incase of Emergency".
He might actually win. Bourdais and the ex Manor driver and Montoya will be racing (Think Montoya has only a two race deal this year).
So he won't be on his own.
I reckon he may win unless by some boutique of bad luck even the IndyCar Honda engine fails.
Put Lando Norris in the Mclaren.
Forget Button until the next race.
Could this be the slow exit for Alonso.
Maybe a LeMan race also?


'Nando won't be lacking for F1 company. Montoya, Sato, Rossi, Bourdais, and Chilton all have F1 experience. Not since '94 has there been this many drivers with F1 experience taking part in the Indy 500.


Lando Norris is a great choice, but could he come up to F1 now? I'm thinking about those points a driver supposed to have.


Monaco is the last race you would throw a rookie into!


What about Robert Kubica. He's just pulled out of his LMP1 seat, he iss Alonso's and Eric Bouliier's friend, hes not a rookie and it would bring additional publicity to Mclaren.


Bring back MW for a one off drive, a Monaco specialist! Haha! I doubt he'd want it though, he's happily retired.

Maybe call one current, though "retired" world champ up, he lives on the track doesn't he? Would be a great marketing coup for F1.


'Put Lando Norris in the Mclaren.'
That would be fantastic.


Chris, I can't see it being anyone else other than Jenson to be honest. Putting a rookie in because they can't find anyone else is pointless. McLaren would end up with a wrecked car and no points, might as well just run one car.


Montoya got replaced at Penske racing for the season. Montoya does have a one-race deal to race an additional Penske car at Indy.

Bourdais had a pretty good car the St. Pete race I watched. He led the race for a stretch in the middle of the event. Rossi will be at Indy as the defending champion. Michael Andretti will be on top of a pit box making the strategy calls for one of his Andretti racing entries. He does this for other cars every weekend, so I doubt he'd break up that just to do it for Alonso for one race. Takumo Sato drives for AJ Foyt, and he once got an award for "overtake of the year" for passing Alonso in 2007! Max Chilton will race for Ganassi Racing, another top team that usually challenges Penske.

BTW, IndyCar has already updated their "Drivers" page to include Fernando Alonso. 🙂


Amazing, youre right 😎


Wins 0
Poles 0
Points 0
Looks like McLaren-Honda 2017 end of season totals!


I am genuinely impressed Cheesypoof, what a great thing to do! Shows a lot of cajones from Fernando, and McLaren.


It's gonna be Jenson, they're already giving odds for him to win of 150/1.


@TimW i don't me it seems very, odd. We know the car sucks and has sucked for years. Still Monaco was a definite shot at some points. He's good around there too. Now allowing such a risky move must mean two things; Alonso really is determined to race wherever in his future and two, Mclaren must be desperate. I understand they are testing a new engine after Bahrain so Honda is certainly trying, but I wonder what the future will be. Also, hope no accidents. I would have liked to have seen the updated Mclaren driven at Monaco...but maybe this is sign that they truly don't have much hope of improvement this year.


Cheesypoof, Fernando does go well there, but I never got the impression that he likes the place. I could be wrong on that one, and you are correct it is probably going to be McLaren's best chance of a decent showing, but I still think the Mercs and Ferraris will be out of reach, meaning a decent points finish would be the maximum realistic reward.
It seems Fernando just really wants to do Indy, I share your safety concerns, but of he really wants to do it, then good on him.


So many questions, is Jenson race fit? When was this deal put together? Was Liberty involved? Is this part of a deal between McLaren and Fernando to keep him at the team?
I don't remember ever being as surprised or impressed by any F1 news item before. Huge kudos to Fernando for doing it, and to McLaren for letting him. It's been a while since I bothered watching the Indy 500, but i will definitely be watching this year!


You think liberty is some kind of daddy that is managing every micro decision that goes on in f1?


Tarun, Bernie used to do that, and they took over from Bernie, so maybe.


Well with FA on duty at Indy, maybe the Big Ape could fill in at Monaco???

After all, a few years ago Jezza took Mr E for a few laps around the harbour on an abarth 500, so surely a step upto a mchonda isn't a big deal for the big ape?

And if not jezza, what about billy Bob Hammond? Hamster is the same height and weight as Alonso and HAS driven a go car, so,....


Obviously he burned all bridges in F1 for 2018, McLaren is not competitive, Ferrari will not take him back, it is not happening with Mercedes or Red Bull. Where else for him to go? Third stint at Renault? I think he will be put of F1 in 2018


If he didn't burn the bridge with McLaren in '07, what makes you think any other brides are being burned? :-))

Renault...third time the charm...why not?


Well I suppose that as long as he hasn't actually burnt them, it's all quite alright.


People also said in the past that Alonso had burned his bridges with McLaren.


Well, as an F1 fan to me this is a loss. Alonso is one of the best, and if he's already venturing out, it's only a bad sign. Monaco would be one of the tracks where Mclaren have a chance at doing better because of their deficit. I'm amazed they would take this risk, which means they don't really care that much about their rankings this year.

On the flip side, while I can admire a driver with no experience taking a risk like this, what are the chances he would do well against experienced drivers in another series in one race, it's somewhat typical of him. it's our loss as F1 fans if he eventually leaves. I don't know too much about the safety standards in Indy, but I hope he returns to F1 safely. I was doing some analysis the other day, and noticed that the fastest lap from Mclaren this year was only about a half second or so faster than Mclaren's fastest lap last year, at the Chinese Grand Prix. That is abysmal. Mercedes was 4 seconds faster in comparison of last year to this year. Mclaren and mainly Honda have really truly failed this year to even improve upon last year.


A loss to the guy winning the drivers titles as well. Winning a drivers title by beating someone of ALOs caliber in a head-to-head title race with similar packages, is not something many drivers out there can brag about. Not even Schumacher had the muscles to do it.


Rossi was a rookie last year and won.
Its a bloody tough race but i reckon Alonso can do it with Andretti


Rossi was driving, and did a fantastic job, but it was the experienced and intelligent Bryan Herta, on the headset and pit wall, who won that race.


Rossi was driving, and did a fantastic job, but it was the immensely experienced and intelligent Bryan Herat who won that race.


I'm more concerned about safety. F1 would be poorer without Alonso and the Indy 500 involves a lot of luck, something Fernando does not have much of. Even in F1 he's been involved in several dangerous accidents. I believe he's probably the truest racer on F1.. a few years ago Ferrari blocked him from competing in Le Mans and even his cycling interest.. he's always shown that even outside of F1 racing is what moves him. To me its very risky for us as F1 fans.. but I guess risk is something true racers are drawn to.


Wow! That's pretty exciting. Extraordinary move by McLaren, but potentially quite brilliant for Honda's marketing. They're all brave here....but who dares wins. Can't wait to see Alonso race on an oval!!

Be good to see him in a competitive car, whilst it buys Honda some time to try and sort out the keeping Alonso sweet for a bit longer. Not that I am optimistic they can fix the engine for this year though.


That is so old school I love it . What a great idea but it doesn't say much about the Mc Honda does it.


Sounds like insanity to me. Take care Fernando, just make sure you don't get yourself hurt.


WOW I did NOT see that coming! This will be interesting... given WEC is likely to be a part of Fernando's future it'll be such an achievement if he can land the triple crown. Plus it'll be good to see Jenson have another crack at Monaco.

But what does that say about McLaren / Honda's opinion of F1 if they are OK with their marquee driver not contesting the blue ribband event, and probably one of the few tracks that their PU may not completely determine the result?

Ricciardo Aficionado

Alonso struggling around the streets of Monaco in a Honda? Marketing poison.
Alonso contesting the Indy 500 in a class leading Honda?
Marketing GOLD.
Zak Brown's best move yet since becoming boss of McLaren.
And plus it keeps Alo on-side. I really really really hope he wins and doesn't hurt himself.
It also has me tuning into Indy this year!
Win Win.


Great post. Exactly my thoughts as well


Good points, Alonso is not my man, but for sure I am gonna see that race


Well they've got to try to keep him happy some how!

Big question is will Button consider a single race in their new orange wheel barrow...


Button to get podium in monaco😅


i remember button shouting out ''monaco baby!'' after being victorious in the principality back in 2009. he ran all along the start finish straight to get to the podium.


Excellent news, and If Alonso does well in the Indy 500, a lot of Indy car fans may show interest in F1. Also vice versa, I havent followed Indy cars in a while but surely will follow everything there is to follow on that weekend! Now to figure out what to watch it on 😀


The past few years I've enjoyed IndyCar racing more than F1, the cars are beasts to drive with no power assisted steering. A top ten result would be superb for Alonso but winning at ovals typically takes years to master without luck and even then some extremely talented drivers still struggle with them.


What Alonso could have said:

Honda: We can make a reliable, powerful engine:
Alonso: Prove it
Honda: it can last 500 miles
Alonso - that's more than 10 F1 engines - I'm in


Fantastic news. And if no decent seat comes up in F1 next year, one of the top 3 will be off over the water. Well done F1 !


Will probably be the first race of the season where Alonso gets result.


That's awesome, I can't wait. Hope he wins it.


Well, they can't get Fernando a decent F1 car so they have to do something to keep him happy..........if he should win the 500 I could see him doing the rest of the season over there. Get ready Jenson!


I can't say I blame him. It's a good move which ever way you look at it and probably gives him further options for next season if the McLaren doesn't come good, which looks pretty likely as far as 2017 is concerned.

Way to go Ferdie! I'll be cheering you on!


Spectacular. I predicted this after the Barcelona testing disaster, and it makes sense on multiple fronts: As the press release makes clear, McLaren has deep history at Indy, something Ron Dennis (perversely) failed to play up when F1 visited the Brickyard. Zak Brown, FOG, and Honda (whose Indycar engine, unlike its F1 cousin, runs at the sharp end of the grid) are making up for that with this move.

Be in no doubt that while Alonso has been on record about his desire to win the Triple Crown, he'd not be trying for it now if he were battling with Hamilton and Vettel. This is a good solution for all concerned (except maybe for JB...). It certainly won't be easy, notwithstanding that many F1 purists dismiss oval racing as such.

Mind you, as happens every May, I'm still hoping for a Penske win!


Why am I thinking this is not a great idea? Doesn't say much for the outlook for the Monaco GP if they are diverted elsewhere. Perhaps he'd be wise to give "Nigel" a call and ask for advice about driving round the Brickyard!


This is brilliant news all round! There's nothing not to like about it. Good luck to him, he's going to need it!


Wow - Fantastic!!
Hamilton, and Vettel must be a bit jealous!


I don't think Hamilton cares TBH. When Hulk won Le Mans, he was asked if he wanted to take part in the future. From what I remember Hamilton showed no interest whatsoever.


That's Le Mans, I think the Indy 500 is something else.


aren't they just?


I'm sure they'll cope...


Sounds like the beginning of the end


Don't think so, in spite of his bad choices, this guy is pretty solid and gets good money too.


Alonso still almost always beats his teammate.

With that junk car McLaren, he's been turning in some performances that seem to say that he's getting more than anyone would expect from a car that's obviously not even close to being a 'good' car.


He had better not chuck it at the corners like he does now!

I phone call to Mr Montoya might be a good idea.


Ya JPM texted Alonso as soon as he got the news, and offered to help in any way he could. Stand up guy JPM, and a true racer.

When asked about helping out a rival, Montoya replied, "when you are confident in your abilities, there's no reason to hide anything from people."

When asked if Fernando would be prepared because of experience racing on fast circuits like Monza, JPM replied, "Bah, Monza is slow!" 😛


Montoya has said that he offered his help for Alonso as soon as he heard the news


I just read that Mansour Ojeh has put the idea of McLaren Indycar team on the table. About time and way overdue. They should leverage that heritage, if only for marketing purposes, as I suspect Zak Brown has told him.


WOW, this is out of left field!


Good Luck, Mr. Alonso. Then again..? If nests aren't being feathered, due to a flimsy communication, it's possible to rule out Luck. What say you? [Mod]


Wow. I guess I'm watching the Indy 500.

I guess Fernando will be honest enough to confirm after he drives an IndyCar at a super speedway that PU Formula 1 car would no longer beat it there, like the V10 he won his first WDC with. 🙂


That's a pretty vacuous argument - you strap on an indy appropriate aero package and appropriately sturdy tyres and any F1 Car would wipe the floor with the indycar - these PUs (at 950-1000 BHP) provide about 300-400 more BHP than the indycar. Ok, you wouldn't be able to use all that extra horsepower without the braking regeneration, but it would still produce far more power for cars that are the same weight as each other - they're different beasts catering for the different specifications of a completely separate series. As for Alonso's 2005 V10 renault? Well, yes it could well be slightly quicker on a qualifying run - at 900 BHP it would probably have a similar/maybe more power than this years F1 cars assuming they can't run ERS, and it is lighter - but put the two cars around 500 miles and factor in all the extra pitstops the 2006 car had to make for fuel, and it would be interesting to see which beat which. I'd back this years cars.


Jonno, did you forget about the fuel flow limit?


What about it?

239 limits fuel flow. Fuel is needed to go really really fast non stop.

Next time you go for a jog, limit your breathing for a demonstration of something comparable.


Sebee, you really are getting in a muddle with this fuel flow limit thing aren't you? The flow limit of 100kg per hour limits the power of the ICE to around 800bhp. The limit is what the engine draws from the tank at full throttle, it can draw fuel at that rate for as long as it wants. An F1 car with no fuel flow limit would generate a lot more power than it does currently, this is why they aren't hitting the 1200bhp plus numbers that the previous generation of turbo cars did. In a race with an Indycar on an oval the F1 car could run at 100kg/hr untill the tank ran dry, which I'm guessing would take around an hour....


You're stuck in horse power when you should be thinking torque.

Hot hatchbacks have high HP number claims and no torque behind it. It wouldn't surprise me to learn the power number claims in F1 are at 1500p rpm where they can't or won't run.


Yeah, I get the "scientific" explanation, I'm just not sure how it helps your argument - it just points out that these engines could be even quicker than they're allowed to be - and seeing as they're already equal to / quicker than those V10s, if you took that limitation away, they'd trounce them too. Another reason to be impressed by the rather than criticise them.


Just read that indycar has 700bhp and car weighs 1500lbs. Do you really think it could keep up with f1. No chance. Even without hybrid power f1 car has 750bhp in race configuration.


And fuel limit, and loses 160hp after 33s on full power, which you maintain at a super speedway.


Mark, the PU cars have over 800bhp without the battery, the Indycar would be a sitting duck...


And yet they stand no chance of breaching 230mph without the battery assist fully utilized. Something doesn't add up.


Sebee, you are getting in a muddle with this as well, the F1 car would hit the same top speed with or without the battery assist, it would just take longer to get there without it.


It's called drag from the completely different aero concept.

Strap one of these PUs into the indycar so equalise the aero effect and it would trounce what they're using.


PU would still have a fuel flow limit, right?


No no no. We're not strapping anything.

100% legal PU F1 car against a 100% legal IndyCar on IndyCar turf. No way F1 wins.


I have told you that I think the F1 car would win, due to it's superior power and down force, and lower weight. I really think that as you are the one who constantly brings up this pointless subject, that it is time you came up with actual reasons why you think the F1 cars inherent advantages wouldn't be enough to take victory.


Sebee, did you see the mcLaren Honda running out of battery assistance halfway down the main straight in China? Didn't explode did it,,,,,


I know.

But reality is PU F1 car runs out of battery assist in 33s and now it has even more drag and is slower down straights. If IndyCar issued a challenge to F1 to come to Indy and challenge PU F1 to a say 25 lap race, the reality is this F1 car loses. And It would probably not be a wise choice to bring the 2017 car either, as the 2016 car would actually stand a better chance in that race because of lighter aero. Either way - PU F1 would lose. V10 F1 car would not. Monza aero, light weight, just the gearing for the speed would be needed - that's within rules.

Doesn't Montoya 231.5 mph 2005 V10 record still stand? Remember the key point to that record - V10 car can sustain that full lap as long as fuel lasts. PU car cannot because of above battery limit and 160hp loss as a result of it running out. No braking to recharge it on an oval. Game over PU F1.


No - Bottas clocked 234.9 mph in Baku last year.

And you can make any car beat any other if you optimise the race conditions to suit it. That said, I reckon the Monza spec F1 car would do pretty well against the Indycar - even without Hybrid power, it's still up by about 150HP.


Yes, Bottas was running at 100% with battery assist. Take away that battery assist and what would you have? How is that fuel flow hindering the power unit then?

I think F1 cars are a lot of black magic. All these claims about power are unconfirmed. I often wonder about that 160hp from battery....if some teams aren't delivering more for example. How is that component measured separately for power delivery?


Utter rubbish. If anything the v10 would blow up running at max rpm constantly. These pu ca run 750bhp in race trim without hybrid. If they were to run minimal wing on the oval they would destroy indycar. And use less fuel hence less Pitstops.


Imagine the g's they'd pulling in low race trim...I remember they cancelled Texas a few years back due to drivers safety from dizziness etc


Yes, you mean like Kimi in 2005 on way to setting fastest ever speed in a Grand Prix at 370.1km/h? And look at that. He finished. I racall quite a few drivers finishing races just fine in V10 era.


Three words: Fuel Flow Limit.


Sebee, why don't you explain to us why you think the fuel flow limit would be an issue.


I think we have been here before Sebee, and the problem is you still don't know what would happen. Montoya's 231mph wouldn't be enough to beat a 240mph Indycar, and it is highly likely that he was bouncing off the limiter in top when he hit that speed. As I have said many times before a PU F1 car has more power, more downforce and weighs less than an Indycar, even without battery assistance. This makes any match up on any kind of circuit likely to result in a win for the F1 car. Ovals are a specialist place so any modifications to gearing or wing levels required to the PU car would also have to have been carried out to the V10.


I know that it may not go down well with some F1 fans but i think this is fantastic news. It is always a disappointment that the Indy 500 and Monaco GP are on the same day.
Great to see that Alonso has aligned himself with the Andretti team and hopefully the Andretti bad luck syndrome doesnt hit Alonso.
(Even though Andretti motorsport won last year)
I have always sat up all night and watched them both. It was a long term dream of mine to attend and luckily i did in 1995.
Its a tough gig and hopefully Alonso will come up to speed quickly and do a 'Rossi'.
Pretty early to start talking about the triple crown but in the 60's when the Indy 500 was part of the F1 WDC it was pretty normal to have F1 drivers there.

Button would seem the first thought on a replacement but will McLaren surprise with someone else?


Hi Mike,

I remember that race in 95, was it JV winning from 2 laps down or hang on maybe that was 94?


Yes, it was 1995. JV was down 2 laps for a pace car infringement early on.
Then with a dozen or so laps to go Scott Goodyear led JV under caution but passed the pace car before it entered pit lane. Happened right in front of me.
SG given stop/go, he ignored it and then given black flag if i remember correctly. JV went on to win.

Ricciardo Aficionado

I think Al Unser Jr is the dark horse for the McLaren seat...


lol....or perhaps Emo or even Paul Tracey


I would say this is fantastic as I'd love to see a return to the "good old days" where top drivers would often race in each other's series... but I fear Fred is going to get hurt.


I do think that even diehard non-Alonso fans are welcoming the news. Great to see drivers trying their hands in different motor sports, quite cool in fact. Let's see how is gonna panning out and how much... noise Alonso is gonna making about that.


The boredom of another Monoco avoided lol


Good for him. His albeit curtailed drives in Australia and China were outstanding given the machinery he has to work with, he is clearly still at his best. Is he THE best, no one knows we would need to see him in the same car as Hamilton or Vettel to work that out.

I know its more to do with the teams, wrapping stars in cotton wool, sponsors, exclusivity and that malarkey but I hope that Liberty can do something to encourage this. I wouldn't normally watch the 500 but I may well tune in now to see Alonso race. I do watch Le Mans but it would be more interesting if some of the big boys were racing and not just retired or failed F1 drivers. It could work the other way round too, why cant there be a guest appearance in a third Mercedes by the reigning Indy Car champ at the USGP for example? Or Button making an appearance at Silverstone in a Mclaren?


This is the beginning of the end for Alonso,it might end up as a lose lose situation should Mclaren come good at Monaco and he fluffs his lines at Indy!


A good piece of marketing by Team Macca. In America this race is a massive event, and everyone from petrol heads to families all talk about it endlessly. So if Alonso & Macca can win, in a Honda/ Andretti (also very well liked in the USA), Macca will boost their road car profile immeasurably. Maybe the team can also pick up some US sponsors too for the future.

Macca may as well do this as their F1 troubles will likely not be resolved by the end of May. At least this might bring them some glory. It might be enough to persuade Alonso to give them one more season too, especially if they can work some magic to get him into a Le Mans Team!


Excellent news. It will be fantastic to see an F1 world champion compete in the Indycar series again even if it is one race. And full props to Alonso, who I am so used to criticising, as this is an incredibly brave move. I remember Schumacher one categorically ruled out a move to Indycar due to how dangerous it was.

It will be fantastic to see the McLaren name and brand return to the states, especially more so given that it won't be run by the jokers in charge of the Woking outfit. I'll definitely be cheering them and Alonso on to see if they can make history.

Sad for Formula One however to have one of their top drivers and a former world champion drop their marquee event for the US jewel in the crown. This should be a wake up call for F1 to do something about the competitiveness of the field. There also needs to be serious moves made to get Alonso into a top drive as it is frankly a farce to see him trundling around at the back of the grid.


So Schumi thought it was to dangerous.... good job he took up skiing then😬


This is cynic and uncalled for. I expect better from a poster here.


Not cynical, more ironic I believe. Apologies if your offended but I'm just pointing out that most sports are "dangerous".
Now I'll let you get on with your mourning of Micheal.
I'm sure he would think it was a little ironic aswell😉


Saying he did a "good job" is cynical, no matter how you dress it and making fun of someone's choice when he is laying in coma is insensible at least.
He's not dead, so it's not the time to speak about mourning; I just don't appreciate cheap jokes about people that can't defend (or enjoy the wit, at best).


As I said, sorry your offended. I suggest you just overlook my posts in future. That's the choice you've got. Then your certain of not being offended again.
Have a nice GP weekend.


Good luck to Alonso in his Indy 500 venture. It's a dangerous race and the chances of being involved in accident are pretty high especially with the varied performance levels of the entries. It will be interesting to see if he can pull this off like Jim Clark and Graham Hill before him.


Wow, this is great news. It's been long, Alonso had a proper race - fighting for podiums and wins - and this is going to be really exciting. With McHonda on the back of the grid, it's good that they decided to let Alonso race in Indy. With Jenson as reserve driver they don't have worry about replacing him.

With plenty of hours for practice and a team that won last year behind him, Alonso will be in the hunt for the Victory.

Vamos Alonso!


Exciting news! They said a McLaren entry, I thought all entries had to use the Dallara chassis? I think the current Indycars look hideous but the competition is good. Fernando should be right on pace but it won't be a walk considering the experience others have and so many variables that occur in such a race.


It'll be branded a McLaren, but still the spec chassis


IMO that story just shows the lach of commitment of Alonso with McHonda.
MOnaco is the track that McHonda will likely have the best result in the season, given it's peculiar caracteristcs, but he'll skip it for a personal goal.
Futhermore, Alonso can suffer a serious injury at that oval track, impairing him for the rest of the season.
Also, once again, once more, Honda will waiste its focus and resources doing another american venture, like the 2006 Bonneville Land Speed record.


At this point of his career, Alonso is nothing but a team player. His goal of achieving the triple crown has been public for a long time.....this particular adventure to Indy was the idea of one Zak Brown, not Fernando.

Zak is the one who said, "I want to take McLaren back to Indy, Fernando, what would you think of driving it?" (That's paraphrased, but according to what they're saying, that's basically how it went down).

And why is an American venture a waste? From my perspective, a European venture is a waste, Honda is pissing away their resources in a dying formula.


Exactly - it shows Alonso's commitment to McLaren and great marketing idea of Zack Brown. News today has probably generated more interest in McLaren that two first races of the championship. Alonso in Indy is a win win situation for everybody.


Macca have no chance in Monaco, even with Alonso in the rain. Doing this promotes Honda and Macca road cars, plus improves the relationship between Alonso and Macca.

Since Honda are already very involved with Indycar, are you suggesting the "waiste" of resources means they will have their engine development team paint an existing car orange?


This is a GREAT time for open wheel racing on this.... the third rock from the sun....


awesome news! courageous of Alonso and McLaren! no-one should assume that he'll be a front-runner right away, though. I've never missed watching the 500 and it is a beast that eats machines and sadly, the occasional human being. I wish him all the luck in the world but most of all hoping for a safe race. I'd love to see James run an article on the history of F1 drivers and teams heading to Indy...when I was a kid it was an absolute thrill to see Jim Clark beat all those Offenhausers!

Gareth (the Philadelphia one)

That's exciting, I guess I'm watching the Indy 500 this year. I normally DVR it and skip through it.

If McLaren's form continues as it is will we see Alonso at Bathurst and in the Baja 1000? 😉


If McLaren's form continues as it is will we see Alonso at Bathurst and in the Baja 1000?

I loled at this, I think it can be an interesting adventure, but it won't happen.

Bathurst will be on the same weekend the Japanese GP is scheduled, and Alonso wouldn't miss the "home" race for Honda mainly due to his large following in Japan and his special affection to Japanese noble swordsmen.
And Baia, well, I remember Kimi's results when competing in WRC and he was
serious about it, further more Alonso never showed an interest in off road racing.


Man I was thinking the same thing about Baja lol. Mario Andretti was the grand marshal of Baja a few years back, there's video footage of him ripping a pre-runner over part of the course and loving every second of it (it's in a Baja documentary, From Dust to Glory...very well worth watching. There's one scene that gives me chills every time I watch it).


In U.K. Is it aired by any terrestrial channel or SKY/BT?

If I can I will watch it (& be rooting for him to win).


IndyCar have a brilliant website where you can watch the races live for free, If you go on now you can watch the practice session live:


BT Sport show all the Indycar rounds.


“I’ve won the Monaco Grand Prix twice, and it’s one of my ambitions to win the Triple Crown"

Anyone else read this and compare it to one of Homer Simpson's lifelong dreams?


"Could the first step of Alonso’s triple crown by on the cards on 28 May?"

It's his second step surely...


Wow...At first i thought it was a joke! Excellent news and it makes a lot of sense. Just how many F1 fans will make the cross to watch this race? It's good for Indy, it's good for F1 and it's good for Alonso. I will be sorry to see Monaco without him but sooner or later he's going to go so what if he misses one race. If nothing else it will be a welcome distraction as if he even finishes mclaren will have a positive story. It would be good to see more cross fertilisation as it builds brand awareness for both series. I also want to see him in WEC LMP1 as well. He's one of my favourite drivers...go Alonso


Great PR move from Zack Brown.
How can we divert attention away from our dire F1 program whilst both promoting Honda in a more positive way and giving Fernando a sweetener to see out the season.


Wow! Never watched the 500 before, maybe I'll tune in this year.


NickH. Definitely tune in. it is always a great spectacle!


That's the least they can do for a living F1 Legend


What a great surprise. Very gutsy of alonso. The lndy 500 shows a bit late were l live but l will give it a 100 laps at least. Next year Le Mans for alonso maybe? Love it. Marc


This is fantastic news. I can't wait to watch. I hope he does extremely well. It'll be great to have the McLaren name back in Indy too. I see a lot of positives for all people involved here. I wonder if it'll affect Monaco viewing figures though!


I honestly thought this was a late April fools haha. I don't blame him though, go for it! Not like he's missing out on anything in F1 (which is a great shame for driver like him).


One thing we can all agree upon, there's only ONE man that can do this Mclaren Honda justice in Monaco. Somebody call Pastor immediately.


McLaren can probably use the money from a "pay driver".


For what it is worth a Honda company plane has been spotted at Simón Bolívar International Airport earlier this morning.


Glad for Alonso as he appears genuinely excited for this challenge.

Not so glad for McLaren. What was once a Championship winning outfit is now resorting to all kinds of side shows to keep its self relevant and stem sponsor and fan outflow. Even though Mr. Dennis left the building I am afraid it will take a while for Organisation as a whole to come to terms what is their new place in the World.


Before anyone had even heard of one Mr Dennis, there was a Kiwi chap named Bruce McLaren. He build a racecar company from the ground up, and had no qualms about building monsterous cars for all kinds of series, from F1 to Indycar to CanAm and more. Bruce's success at those "side shows", as you call them, are what gave birth to the legend that is McLaren.


Thank you, Twitch. I've been trying to make this point for years. But McLaren itself (via Ron Dennis) did very little to maintain awareness of that connection, and frankly seemed to actively discourage it. More broadly, it seems likely that most F1 fans (certainly the drivers and teams, based on what I saw the four times I went to the USGP at Indy) are dismissive of, and utterly incurious about, the racing scene more generally. Down the last 30 years, Bernie and Ron certainly encouraged that attitude. But Bernie largely sold F1 on snob appeal, so that fits.

Can you sell F1 beyond the Rolex-encrusted Paddock Club? Can McLaren actually use all of its heritage in its own marketing? Can top drivers mix disciplines? FOG, Zak Brown, and Fernando should be congratulated for answering "yes" to those questions.


Brilliant news, great timing for Fernando's Indy challenge.