F1 Winter Break
Alonso to bid for Triple Crown and race in 2019 Indy 500
Posted By: Editor   |  10 Nov 2018   |  7:58 pm GMT  |  76 comments

McLaren and Fernando Alonso have confirmed that they will once again participate in the Indy 500 in a bid to secure the final leg of the Triple Crown of motorsport.

With two Monaco Grand Prix wins, and having been part of the team that took the 24 Hours of Le Mans win earlier this year, an Indy 500 victory would be the final tick in the box for him to become only the second man to achieve the Triple Crown, after Graham Hill.

He has already confirmed that he wont be participating in Formula One next season, but the Spaniard is yet to reveal if he will be competing in any other championships alongside his commitments to Toyota in the World Endurance Championship.

It will be Alonso’s second attempt at the event, having raced at Indianapolis in 2017. In a collaboration between McLaren and Andretti Autosport, he led the race for numerous laps, but ultimately he was forced to retire from the race.

“I’ve made clear for some time my desire to achieve the Triple Crown,” said Alonso.

“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.

McLaren CEO Zak Brown added that the Indy 500 race is “unfinished business” for Alonso.

“We are relishing our return to the Brickyard and this incredible race,” said Brown.

“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.”

McLaren are yet to confirm the finer details of their involvement in next year’s event.

By: Luke Murphy

All images: Motorsport Images

How do you think Alonso will fare at next year’s Indy 500? Leave your thoughts in the section below.

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Way to go Fernando! Great news…. think it will be hard the first year with, effectively, a new team.

Maybe a full championship in 2020, when he has sewn up the WEC?


I remember Alonso battling Schumacher every race in 2007.

Or winning in a car that it wasn’t dominant in 2006.

Who has forgotten the amazing 2008 year whith Lewis?

Did anyone forget already the last race of 2010 and all that year?

What about 2012 again in a worse car than Vetel?

All that moments came back last year for an instand in the Indy. I hope he goes back again and win next year.

And it would be terrific if Vetel leaves Ferrary and they call him back. I know it is nearly impossible but he and F1 deserves him back in a powerfull car. I hope. I dream


Formula one should have one endurance race to test the car, the driver and the tire specially on an oval speedway.


no ovals.


Every f1 race is an endurance race. Only shorter.


Good luck to him. Enjoyed watching him try it last time and I hope next time will be even better.

I had everything crossed that he’d get a full season in Indycar but sadly no. I still think the triple crown of F1 / WEC / Indycar champion would be a legacy worthy of his talents. Plus Indycar was fantastic last season, he’d be an amazing addition to the series.

Anyway, best of luck Fernando.


Fernando Alonso is literally the greatest driver of the modern era and perhaps of all time. Head and shoulders above any current driver. If he had the car that he deserved he would be an 8 times WDC by now


Why didn’t he get those cars david?


Sometimes he did, sometimes he didn’t.

when you have 2 cars capable of winning the championship, and more drivers than you can count willing to sell their right testicle to drive one of those cars for half a decade, chances are that you will not be in one of those 2 cars.

Besides, merceds dont want a strong second driver to rival Lewis, and neither does Lewis. Everything these days is set up for maximum efficiency, fewest problems and least spectacle for the fans.


Luke, you don’t think Fernando is to blame at all? That maybe his attitude and actions have made him unhireable by any of the top three? Surely if Alonso is ‘literarily the greatest driver of the modern era and head and shoulders above any current driver’ then Ferrari and Mercedes would be fighting over his signature and showing Seb and Lewis the door?


Luke. You are simply dodging the question, why is hiring Alonso not compatible with selling hybrid road cars? How many times have I asked you why Ferrari or Merc don’t sack their incumbents and hire Fernando instead? Must be three or four times niw, and yet not one suggestion of an answer from you, at least this tells me something….


It makes perfect sense Tim. F1 never used to be about selling Prius tech to al gore-following hippie types whose PC sensibilities get offended when see a grid girl. That’s the difference.


Luke. That makes no sense whatsoever, surely F1 has always been an exercise in selling road cars for the manufacturers, no different now. Red Bull don’t sell any road cars, hybrid or otherwise, so why do they refuse to hire him? What risk would be involved in Mercedes hiring him? Do you mean the risk of upsetting Hamilton? Like I said before, why wouldn’t they just sack him if a driver ‘head and shoulders’ above the rest was available? The uncomfortable truth for Alonso fans is he is very much the reason for his own lack of results.


There is nothing wrong with Alonso’s attitude. The problem lies with current f1 and current team bosses who want to minimise risk, while keeping everything squeaky clean.

F1 is not a sport anymore; it’s an expensive excercise in marketing hybrids.


He never recovered from being beaten by a rookie Hamilton, rookies get faster, Hamilton and several others are faster, alonso is a nobody these days, a failure, walking away in humiliating circumstances, claiming that “top teams” still want him.. When thry publicly stated they dont.


Good mature comment fluffy.
“alonso is a nobody these days, a failure, walking away in humiliating circumstances”
Clearly you are new to the sport.


He has a car he deserves. If a team would believe he’d do miracles for them he’d have a drive in that car


He will end up in Formula E


alonso looks smooth in his yellow shades.


For a guy whose career has thus far been an excellent example of bad decisions,let’s hope this one doesn’t end up with him going into the wall.
I’ve never been a fan of his but wouldn’t want to see the final page of his unwritten book end in tragedy.


“This is the greatest triple crown in the history of triple crowns.” Future Alonso


Y a w n.


Gone but not forgotten.

Fernando Alonso, an F1 legend.

There needs to be some kind of end of season epitaph for this great man if James could kindly do the honours. Alonso has just seemed to disappear without notice within this indifferent end to the F1 season and indeed with an indifferent feel to F1 in general with the Pay TV push.

In short, Alonso stands head and shoulders in class above every single driver left in F1 today.

OK, so, he made a bad decision to go to McLaren that cost him hugely in his latter part of his career.

But for the most part he was simply the boss.

They way he came onto the scene and took on a peak Schumacher and Ferrari and drove the wheels off that Renault was out of this world.

Always knew how to be aggressive and look after his car at the same time.

Does anyone remember that Monaco race, I forget who he was following, where he slowed down a little two or three laps before the other guy pitted, saved his tires, then pushed like bananas to make the gap, getting in front of the guy a few laps further on.

The pass on Shumacher on the 130R. What balls.

Magical moment after magical moment. Come on lets make a list in tribute.

One could even say his two world championships are worth almost as much or maybe even as much as Vettel’s 4 or Lewis Hamilton’s five.

He did not have by far the best machinery on the grid as recent drivers have had.

He had to fight for his two WDC’s tooth and nail. Such as shame he couldn’t get his third one he so badly wanted.

He was loved by the fans more than any modern driver will ever be.

How many large sections of fans used to bow down to him at the end of a race. Sorry to Vet and Ham but I’ve never seem that with you guys. (I’m not saying that I dislike these drivers but they just don’t have the enigmatic grace that Alonso had)

Even I used to bow down to him in front of the TV, much to the amusement (or pity) of my wife.

Good luck to you Sir Alonso. The last of a dying breed. Good luck with getting the tripple crown.

Kimi is the only one we have left now from the golden times of F1.

A legend leaves us. F1 as we knew it leaves us.


MM, he’ll be back….


He is the last of a dying breed. Started with the customary lowest team on the grid in Minardi instead of being spoon fed into the fastest team. Won his two titles with a team on a fraction of the budget of the major teams. And he’s never had luck on his side, unlike some very lucky multiple champions in the top teams right now.


Cheesypoof, Lewis makes his own luck, and so does Fernando..


Or to put it another way, more accurate way, Mercedes makes a lot of Lewis’ luck.


Luke, so basically what you’re saying is that you have decided that the Mercedes was superior this year and last year? You have made this decision wholly from the comfort of your armchair having spent precisely zero seconds listening to any expert analysis whatsoever, or even watching any races.

I don’t need to prove anything to you Luke, even if I provided dyno and wind tunnel figures, you would just dismiss them as fake, because you don’t want Lewis to be driving a car that isn’t dominant as this would involve you having to acknowledge that he might have done something praise worthy, and we all know you can’t do that.


Tim, unless you can give me the Dyno figures showing that the Ferari PU was equal to the Mercedes PU throughout the PU era we have nothing to discuss. Windtunnel figured would help too.

And Fernando did not win the title this year or last because the Honda and Renault PUs are no match for the Merc. And if Ferrari were more competitive Alo would still be driving for Ferrari.


Luke, The Ferrari PU was a match for the Mercedes last year, and more than a match this year, so why didn’t Fernando win the title this year and last year? When Lewis’ contract ran out at the end of 2015, why didn’t they sign Fernando? Why didn’t they sign him for next year? These ate all difficult questions to answer aren’t they Luke? Any chance of you having a go?


Yes, he has and Alonso had earned his place at Ferrari, which is another top team.

As it turned out Mercedes got the PU formula right and Ferari didn’t. It could well have been the other way around and Alo would be a 5 or 6 time world champion by now. But which team got the hybrid right is pure luck on Lewis’ part.


Luke. Lewis isn’t lucky to be driving that Mercedes, he has earned his place in that team.


at least you believe that


david, I don’t suppose you have anything to back up your position? No? Nothing at all? Didn’t think so….


zzzzzzzzz…eh. huh?


Indy has only 2 types of competitors. Those that have hit the wall, & those that are waiting to hit the wall.

Alonso knows F1 is hard, but because he had a good run in ’17, & an easy year with Toyota, I suspect any sort of slacking off or sense of ease will have him join the list of those that have hit the wall.

I think he will find Indy is not so easy to win.


I think Alo will fare well at Indy, as he did last year. He’s obviously a great driver and won’t be handicapped by the massive performance disparity that he’s been handicapped in f1 since the beginning of the PU era.


OTT…are you still at Mt. Tamborine?


I am really happy to hear that Alonso is going back for a second attempt. I wish him all the best and hope that he can pull it off. He’s a truly great driver and i’m sure he’ll be doing his very best. His talents have been squandered at McLaren for too long.


All this Alonso and McLaren business is getting very boring….


Dont follow the story then.


Good luck to him! Lots of ex-F1, WEC fans will be crossing over and watching Indy for the first time (me). I truly hope he has a competitive package – an Indy win will not be a matter of simply finishing the race…


Excellent, some good racing to look forward to for 2019, the 2017 race was brilliant.

Would be great to see if anyone else could come close to Alonsos efforts in such a different discipline on the big oval, Seb, Lew, Dan, Max, Jense, Kimi…


The 500 is a bit of a lottery, so who knows if he can win it? I was hoping Fernando would do a full season of Indycar, is that not possible?


@TimW – re. possibility of full Indycar season.

Alonso’s “GP2 engine” exclamations for maximum effect at Honda’s home race in Japan, seems to have had an unexpected knock-on effect of Honda-engined Indycar teams being unable to run him as a driver, including the Andretti team that I think he ran with in 2017.


Torchwood, Oh I see…..! Can he not run with one of the Chevrolet teams?


Alonso to Formula E. That’s the headline I’m dying to read. It’s a formula where most everyone has a chance to compete for the podium. It’s a growing formula and it’s a grip and underbody ground effects formula where the cars can race wheel to wheel. I think it’s obvious that Alonso is one of the greatest and most talented drivers to ever get behind the wheel of a car. He has however had an unfortunate history of putting that talent ahead of his team and teammate. I’d love to see him spend the twilight years of his career lending his skills and name to a greater cause. There’s so many good reasons to support electric cars. I think Formula E is a wonderful venue to see the best drivers in the world lend their support to helping promote a more sustainable future for automotive transportation.


f1 champions don’t take part in formula e.


For some reason ( that I can not fathom out) Formula E is far better trackside than on TV. Hence a lot of the negative views from many who have only tuned into a highlights show.

Alonso would be a big draw for the sport and would face some very close racing ( something I believe he enjoys) so like you I am looking forward to the headline announcement.


That would be like expecting a University grad. to return to kindergarten!!!


This is a non story or at best a hollow one, without substance. It’s not a achievement if one looks a bit closer.


All the best to Alonso.
Hope he achieves it 👍


What “triple crown”… Nobody cares, that endurance “win” was a joke and his self agrandising egotism is a sad joke.


Same as Hamiltons WDC wins – a joke


But Lewis winning 4 of 5 championships in a Mercedes without competition is no joke I suppose? Who cares?


Why, because he won in a dominant car? What about all those championships Lewis won in a dominant car?


Oh and Luke, remember the other day when you and your pals were complaining about Lewis fans making every article all about him? You don’t get to say that anymore…..


I never complained about Lewis fans making every article about him. I was merely attempting to bring balance and objectivity into the debate.

Of course my attempts were quickly shot down, fingers were placed in ears in a “I’m not listening” fashion, but that was all expected so no surprises there.


Luke. The reason only Lewis bashers listen to you is because you say all the things they just love to hear, even if they are provably untrue. They don’t care if what you’re saying is accurate, and neither do you.


Tim, only hardcore Lewis fans don’t listen to me. And this is for the same reason that for example Justin Bieber fans don’t listen to people who correctly point out that he uses auto tune.

It’s simply so much more comforting to belive that Justin Bieber sings perfectly in tune the whole time.


The reason people don’t listen to you Like, is you make it up as you go along.


You literally bring tour love of Hamilton into every post. If obsession was a skill you would be world champion. Or maybe runner up the the flaming idiot


David, who talks about Fernando in the comments, and who only ever talks about Lewis? Sorry my friend but trying to claim the high ground on this one just makes you look a fool.


Luke, 2 out of 5, and fierce competition from his team mate in the two dominant ones.


tiny d can never claim the high ground
It would take a big big ladder and we all know he doesn’t climb well. Vertigo d


all in a dominant car


Iam struggling to think of a championship winner ( modern era) who was not in a dominant car. Bearing in mind that you have to finish to win

By any other logic then Alonso would be a five time champion winning in a lesser car. Unfortunately the car is all no matter which driver you favour.


david, proof? Facts? Figures, Data? Expert testimony? Or just your usual prattle?


Tiny d
You really do remind me of that little character in Sponge Bob Square Pants, my 6 year year old nephew calls “green bean” aka Plankton😂


I went to Le Mans this year, and I have to say, watching Fernando Alonso’s night stint was an absolute privilege, it was the finest piece of driving I’ve seen in many years (the Bearded Spaniard had to make over a minute over his Toyota team-mates – and he did it!).

The point is, when he straps on the helmet and tucks himself into the cockpit, Alonso always try his absolute hardest, so I have absolutely no doubt this outstanding competitor will strain every sinew to win at Indy – he’s a modern day Gladiator who revels in combat.


racing against other drivers, lapping faster than the opposition by what margin? what are you comparing alonso’s drive with?


With the sister car in the same race. Gaz did say that in his post but maybe your blinkers got in the way of understanding what he said. You could try utube and type in Alonso night drive.


@ Gaz Boy we may not fully agree on all things F1 but Alonso is truly one of the great F1 drivers. As you have expressed, his double stint night time drive was superb and i watched it for a very long time. That alone was worthy of the highest acclaim. What sets him apart from so many drivers is his willingness to try his hand at other disciplines…he’s a driver’s driver.


Interesting five part article on the BBC F1 website about how “disruptive” Alonso has been. Honestly the great Ron and Lewis were not saints either by any means. Its interesting to read about some of it from people who actually know thew real story behind the exaggerated bullshit that has only grown and in turn detracted from Alonso’s abilities. Be interesting to see what else comes out. An interesting and insightful read


racing is not about willing to try, it’s about winning. this is the reason the winners are celebrated so much.


I agree 100% he stands head and shoulders above any current driver on the grid. I tried to do a little epitaph for him. I think James should do some kind of tribute to him before the last race.

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