Some big Formula One news came out of Texas on Thursday, as Fernando Alonso and McLaren announced a new “multi-year” contract for the two sides to remain together for 2018 and beyond. With that being said, one main topic came out in Alonso’s media availability ahead of this weekend’s United States Grand Prix at the Circuit of The America’s in Austin, Texas.
Despite being an F1 race, it’s still an F1 race in America, and the biggest race in not just the United States, but the whole entire world itself, the Indianapolis 500 was a topic for Alonso. The popular Spaniard shockingly announced this past spring that he and McLaren would come over and try the 101st Running of the Indianapolis 500 in a partnership with Andretti Autosport.
Prior to this May, Alonso had turned exactly zero laps on an oval. The only chance he had was when came over on May 3 for a test day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The next time in a car from there, was after his home grand prix, as he’d come to the States and not return to F1 until after the ‘500. That’s two weeks basically to prepare for the most grueling race in the world.
Alonso, qualified an impressive fifth, with a four-lap average of 231.300 mph. In the race, he’d be in the lead by Lap 50, including leading 27 laps in total that day. Unfortunately, his engine would expire in the end and he’d finish 24th.
He vowed he’d be back to try this again. Winning the triple crown is what he covets and desires. Alonso, wants to win Indy and LeMans so badly he can’t contain his excitement for it. On Thursday, he spoke on the possibilities of accomplishing that feat and a plan in the process.
Alonso, confirmed though that he wouldn’t be racing in the 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500, rather saying that he’s going to fully commit for his team in F1 for 2018. With Monaco being the same weekend, he’s not going to skip out on that for a second straight year.
“Obviously now, with the new McLaren deal for next year I can confirm that I will not be at the Indy 500 next year because there is Monaco Grand Prix on the same weekend and priority next year will be to perform well in Formula One but at the same time I can confirm that I will be in the Indy 500 in the future,” Alonso said on Thursday. “I don’t know if it will be ’19 or 2020 or whenever but it’s a race that I definitely will experience again.”
But, Alonso didn’t rule out racing in another event in the United States in 2018. He would like to try the 24 Hours of Daytona, a race that would give him some sports car experience before running in LeMans. Neither weekend will rival a F1 race, leaving the opportunity reasonable.