Fernando Alonso, McLaren, Shanghai International Circuit, 2017

Alonso will miss the Monaco Grand Prix to race in the Indianapolis 500

2017 Monaco Grand PrixPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Fernando Alonso will race at the Indianapolis 500, McLaren have confirmed.

Start, Indianapolis 500, 2016
Alonso will drive for defending race winners Andretti
McLaren will enter a car run by the Andretti team for Alonso. Andretti’s team, which uses Honda engines, won the race last year with Alexander Rossi.

“I’m immensely excited that I’ll be racing in this year’s Indy 500, with McLaren, Honda and Andretti Autosport,” said Alonso.

“I’ve won the Monaco Grand Prix twice, and it’s one of my ambitions to win the Triple Crown [the Monaco Grand Prix, the Indianapolis 500 and the Le Mans 24 Hours], which has been achieved by only one driver in the history of motorsport: Graham Hill.”

“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.”

Qualifying for the race takes place on the Saturday and Sunday after the Spanish Grand Prix, following a week of practice at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Alonso’s rivals in the race will include former F1 driver and current IndyCar points leader Sebastien Bourdais. As well as Rossi, Alonso’s team mates will include ex-Jordan, BAR and Super Aguri driver Takuma Sato.

Juan Pablo Montoya, who has already won the Indianapolis 500 twice as well as the Monaco Grand Prix, will also return to IndyCar for this year’s 500.

“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,” said Alonso.

“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 [354kph].”

“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.”

Alonso will use the number 29 in the race. His regular F1 number, 14, is used by to Carlos Munoz in IndyCar.

McLaren will announce the identity of Alonso’s replacement for the Monaco Grand Prix “in due course”. Jenson Button, who stepped down from F1 at the end of last year, is still contracted to the team.

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235 comments on “Alonso will miss the Monaco Grand Prix to race in the Indianapolis 500”

  1. That’s…. a wow.

    The one track he might have had a chance.
    So he hates Honda but he loves it? Don’t get it.

    1. A ploy by (mainly) Honda to keep him happy (and at the team)?

      1. I certainly think that that is what made it at all possible, yes @hahostolze.

    2. I dont see the conflict, he wont he using his F1 PU in the new car

      1. GP2 you mean

        1. LovelyLovelyLuffield
          12th April 2017, 16:32

          To think Super Formula and IndyCar use faster cars than GP2.

      2. Exactly, it seems Honda have the better Indycar engine this year as they won the first 2 races so it will be good for them to hopefully have Fernando doing well with one of their engines.

    3. I’d wager he has a better chance of winning a road course. Getting to grips with a super-speedway and oval racing in your very first Indycar race is a huge ask!

      1. This is Fernando we are talking about here don’t forget but why would he choose a road course if Indy 500 is part of the triple crown he wants and he’s already proven himself more than enough of road courses.

        1. I was responding to the comment saying that this is the one track where he might have a chance to win. I’m saying he would have a better chance on a road course.

          1. Tommy Scragend
            12th April 2017, 13:29

            I think the “one track where he might have a chance to win” was referring to Monaco, not Indianapolis. Although even then it is stretching a point!

          2. I think they meant that Monaco is the one track where he could have a decent result in F1. Not Indy.

          3. @latorres86 ahhh I see that makes more sense. thanks

      2. @pastaman, Easy to see why you would think that but historically F1 WDCs have been very successful at the Indy 500, even Nigel Mansell iirc would have won if he hadn’t dozed off (lost concentration actually) under the safety car.

    4. EB (@ebchicago)
      12th April 2017, 12:09

      Honda probably has the better engine in Indycar, they won the first two races this year, Rossi won the 500 last year in a Honda powered car and Andretti is always strong setup wise. Other than the obvious lack of experience in the equipment Alonso has as good of a chance as anyone in the field to win the thing. I’m excited to see him try.

      1. True, but they also had three or four engine failures in the last race…

    5. He knows honda is not the only problem Mclaren faces.. The reliability is very poor .. only the under performing engine camouflages the other problems. With a Merc engine the car would probably desintegrate ;)

      1. You write that as though it is a statement of fact – which it isn’t. Here is a fact for you. Alonso and van Doorne both said that the Mclaren is as fast as any other car in the corners and faster than most. Alonso thinks that the Mclaren may well be THE fastest car in the corners. (Direct quotes) So erikje, if you are going to make tripe up as you go along, rather go and do it in the kiddies corner.

        1. @patcee
          He never mentioned chassis performance, only reliability, which does have quite some factual basis.

          1. @george, I’d agree that McLaren are not entirely blameless when it comes to reliability issues, as Alonso’s two retirements in the past two races have both been down to components designed by McLaren (the suspension failure in Australia and the driveshaft failure in China).

          2. @George How you understand his post and how I understand his post are obviously different. And where is your factual basis? If the suspension failure was because of a badly designed component, then why didn’t van Doorn’s suspension also fail. Was the driveshaft replaced when the suspension was replaced or did it fail as a result of the suspension failure or is it a poorly designed part? I don’t have the facts and neither do you or erikje. What I do know is that Mclaren have been making those components for so long that I am sure that they know what they are doing. Those two components could have failed for a multitude of reasons none of which point to it being a bad car. And he clearly eludes to the engine and the chassis in his post in my opinion. So we will have to agree to disagree on this one.

        2. You do exactly the same thing. The fact that Alonso says his car is the fastest through the corners doesn’t make that a fact in itself. Nobody else besides McLaren seems to think the McLaren is the best chassis out there.

          1. George (@george) Update. It was mentioned on Sky sports F1 news tonight by John Watson that the two failures were caused by vibration emanating from the Honda ICE. Again that lets the chassis off the hook

    6. sunny stivala
      13th April 2017, 6:24

      Alonso will be driving a Dallara DW12 chassis with a twin turbo 2.2l Honda engine and the car in McLaren Papaya orange livery.

  2. Given how Honda are performing in the Indycar Series, he might have a genuine chance.

    Also, does this mean that Button will race in Monaco?

    1. I really hope so! That’s so exciting

  3. That is a blockbuster announcement.

    I legit said ‘wow’ out loud.

    1. Indeed

      Alonso if far from my favourite driver, in fact I’ve been posting some rants regarding is last comments and what appears to be the “races of his life”. Nevertheless I wish him well, and hope that he can show what a F1 driver can do.

      Good on McL for letting this happen as well. Button to Monaco? is there any alternative?!

      1. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
        12th April 2017, 16:59

        @johnmilk other possibilities would be:
        DeVries – still contacted to McL but seems to have missed the F1 boat, unlikely.
        Matsushita – I’m sure Honda would love to put a Japanese pilot in for the race, but unlikely.
        Lando Norris – Surely part of the discussion as McLaren young driver, very possible I think

        Another left field possibility:
        Takuma Sato – F1 experience, Japanese, currently drives for Andretti. Could a straight swap be on the cards?

        1. @fullcoursecaution I’m still thinking of the pragmatic McL of Ron Dennis, so as soon as I read the news I thought of the logical choice.

          Let’s see if we get a surprise

          1. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
            12th April 2017, 21:05

            @johnmilk i agree in the real world it’s almost certainly Jenson, just brainstorming for banter. There is a pragmatic argument to be made for putting Norris in, since Monaco (i assume) isn’t too hard on the neck for juniors, but Monaco points could be crucial and Jenson is the best bet to deliver them. Can’t wait for Fernandonapolis Sunday either way!

    2. Me too, I am speechless. This is a massive coup for IndyCar.

      I am so excited to see how he is going to get on.

      1. i think its a massive coup for Liberty and F1 too.

        1. Good point Ben. This is good for both Indycar and for F1. And it is good for Honda, for Alonso and pretty good for McLaren too.

          Wow indeed @willwood

    3. Same here… my reaction was “Nooo mames”.

      Basically the same but in spanish

    4. Sure is! I thought this was a late April fools joke.

      Amazing, incredible, fantastic! And I have two tickets to the race and am going for the first time. Wow.

    5. It was big out loud YESSSSSSS from me. Amazing news.

  4. And who will drive in Monaco i wonder.

    1. I’m sure they’ll be queueing round the block for a chance to drive such an amazing car…
      ahem..

      1. @mazdachris I get the sarcasm, but I certainly wouldn’t say no!

      2. some names come to mind..
        ( to support Honda;)
        Taki Inoue
        Yuji Ide
        or maybe if they need more money:
        Chanoch Nissany

        1. They all fit the car…

    2. Jenson button according to Motorsport.com

      1. I’m not sure why anyone would do that to themselves…

    3. Another retiree who just can’t (but should) let go.

      1. A bit harsh, JB did let it go, not his fault if bought back in due to Alonso…. but either way – WOW !!

        Alonso just wants to prove he can match it with anyone in the world if he gets a good car, i can see his point, his career decisions will haunt him unfortunately. I hope he wins it 🏁

        1. A bit harsh, JB did let it go, not his fault if bought back in due to Alonso…. but either way – WOW !!

          Well it is his choice if he does come back. It isn’t like McLaren just pick someone and force them to drive.

    4. It has to be Button, I don’t think they have any other driver. Also Button is enlisted as reserve driver for the 2017 season

    5. Good question, yes.

      The obvious choice would be Jenson Button.
      After that, who has a superlicence? Nyck de Vries has the points, but surely he is not (yet??) ready for that step. Webber would be elegible, but why would they do that if they have Button contracted.

      Or maybe one of the Indycar drivers? Montoya has the points, but he is back only for Indy this year, hoping to win it. And he is with Chevy (as are Power, Pagenaud etc). Dixon is a Honda driver but I doubt Ganassi would release him, even if he wanted to forgo an attempt at his 3rd victory. Off course Andretti driver Rossi knows F1 cars, and has the points, and Alonso is coming to race for “his” team. But then, wouldn’t Rossi want to try and defend his title?

      Also, when looking at how IndyCars mentions that Justin Wilson’s brother “stood down” to allow Alonso to have an engine and car for the race (in return they will help him with a full season next year), it does not seem like this would be a trade. Well and if it was, you would think they would announce that too, right.

      Overall, still think that Button is the most obvous choice. But let’s see how it goes.

      1. Morningview66
        12th April 2017, 16:46

        I’ve always wanted to see Andre Lotterer back in an F1 car, after he qualified a second faster than Ericsson in his one race for Caterham.
        Not sure he would a better choice over Button though who would know Monaco far better and is already under contract.

        1. Yeah I was impressed by Lotterer too

          Button is definitely the most obvious choice and the most sensible, in modern F1, it ain’t just about knowing the track but also the various settings

      2. @bascb, Is there no 13 year old lurking in the background waiting for a special dispensation to drive.

  5. Michael Bradshaw
    12th April 2017, 11:06

    Does anyone know if it’ll be JB who’ll replace Alonso in Monaco?

  6. Amazing! Great from McLaren to allow this. Looking forward to see him win it!

    1. That was probably part of the contract from the beginning. Or at least was part of the agreement. Besides they have to do anything they can to keep Fernando happy…. “GP2 engine, this is embarrassing”

  7. They already denied him Le Mans a couple of years ago… Don’t think they could afford to do that again to him now.

    1. Well, Ron is not around anymore.

      1. Exactly. Andretti wouldn’t be doing this if Ron was still in charge of McLaren. There is a good amount of bad blood between the Andretti clan and Ron.

        1. Didn’t they try to do an Indycar program for Magnussen in 2015 until Ron used Alonso’s injury (and replacement) as a scapegoat not to let him run with them?

  8. The first time since 2003 he will miss a F1-race. Making up for indy 2005 farce?

    1. He missed the first race in 2015.. and the Bahrain GP in 2016

    2. This will actually be the 3rd year in a row he’s missed a race.

  9. WOW!!!!! I had to check the date. My jaw has hit the floor

  10. *unpopular opinion alert*
    I think this may be part of Alonso’ recent inflated self-worth, where he is constantly in the form of his life, driving better than before (and more importantly, anyone in the field) and determined to show the world he is the best there ever was. Only, I don’t see it working out that way. Indy 500 is a totally different animal and unless he really has a competitive car and gets on it straight away I can see it getting to be quite a dissapointment. And to skip the Monaco GP, where the McLaren might actually do quite well (the chassis seems to be good), for a wild shot at glory seems a bit … I dunno, I’m excited by the bizarreness of the news, but I don’t really see it.

    1. I do agree. I think this will do more for McLaren than it will for Alonso.

    2. I can understand why you put the unpopular alert before your post. I think Mclaren Honda are so rubbish, that sitting in that car every race weekend would make you want to blow your brains out. To prevent any permanent mental damage to Alonso, they’ve allowed him to actually him to do whatever he wants this season. He’s got more talent that the entire Indycar field put together, so if he gets a competitive drive, then I would expect him to at least get a podium finish there. (Which is something that Mclaren Honda will not manage for another decade)

      1. To save face for Formula 1 fans I hope you’re right but I don’t think its going to be that simple. He is getting the best car in the field but I don’t think it’s as simple as him walking up and blitzing them.

      2. He’s got more talent that the entire Indycar field put together, so if he gets a competitive drive, then I would expect him to at least get a podium finish there.

        What a ridiculous statement, but I’m guessing you probably don’t watch Indycar.

        1. @pastaman I’m guessing many on here do really think it’s as easy as just driving round in circles.

          1. LOOK They’e making a left turn!

          2. Quite the opposite. Watch the race and you’ll see.

            Google the fastest speed ever achieved by an F1 car. It’s 230 mph at Monza. They AVERAGE 230+ mph every lap, inches from other cars and the wall is extreme. The enter the turns (which all drive very differently even though they look identical) at 210 to 220 mph. Alonso will have never experienced anything like it!

        2. That’s what I was thinking. I think alot of people will be shocked/disappointed.

        3. @pastaman

          Sebastian Bourdais is leading the Indycar Championship. Enough said

          1. @todfod that doesn’t prove anything except how little you know about Indycar. By your logic I could claim that Alonso is a bad driver because he has 0 points right now…

          2. @pastaman

            Well.. I don’t see a lot of Indycar drivers matching up to Formula 1 talent in ROC. Nor do I think the talent required to turn constantly left is even comparable to racing in a Formula 1 circuit. I used Bourdais as an example because he couldn’t cut it in Formula 1, but he’s definitely among the better drivers in Indycar.

            I think that gives me enough reason to believe that the talent levels are below that of Formula 1.. but I guess you have your own logic that definitely makes sense to you.

      3. I wouldn’t be so quick to say Alonso has more talent than Montoya. Especially when Montoya has won it twice and Alonso hasn’t done a lap yet.

    3. @hahostolze There is precedent for this. None of the reasons you listed stopped Jim Clark back in the day and he didn’t have much experience of oval track racing. Plus the car (Lotus 38) was specially built for the occasion and thus had no prior competitive history, so it is do-able. Graham Hill pulled it off too just one year later as a Rookie. Of course, it is a lot more competitive these days but what a feat if he could pull it off! It’s well worth the gamble and will be good for TV ratings etc…Who knows? I might even watch it on TV! (I’m a fan of his driving prowess but not his continuous machinations).

      1. @baron I know of the history and have massive respect for Clark and Hill and can understand why people want to emulate them and others. But to me, it doesn’t feel like that. It feels like a (typical, dare I say) Alonso statement, emphasising how he won’t be defeated and how he can do everything. And this is different from the 1960s, the cars are very different, the tracks are very different. He’s skipping the highlight of F1’s season, regardless of what you think of Monaco. It’s a drastic move, and one I am very, very skeptical of.

        1. @hahostolze Ha-ha! Entirely with you on the sceptism front!

        2. @hahostolze @baron While the comparisons with Clark and Hill may not have much weight given how different the sport is these days, let’s not forget that Nigel Mansell very nearly won on his debut in 1993.

          Again, times have changed but I think it is possible for a quality driver to jump into an Indycar and be on it from the get go.

        3. Last years winner won the race as a rookie. Alexander Rossi, who did some racing/testing in F1, won the race in his first try. I believe Fernando is at least as talented as Rossi. (Taking nothing away from Rossi) I believe this is a legit attempt at him winning the Indy 500.

    4. I get what you mean to an extent but realistically that Mclaren isn’t going to be on the podium in Monaco and for a driver who has already won championships driving it beyond its limits to get a 6th place or something is hardly going to be of great satisfaction. Whilst I have little knowledge of IndyCar and so do not know whether it is likely he can do well (although the fact Bourdais is currently leading suggests to me that Alonso would be the best driver there), it is probably worth the shot for him even if its a long shot. And for Mclaren and Honda it provides some nice publicity for a change, as lets face it for the last 3 years nobody has said a single positive thing about them.

    5. I think he has a chance. Last year’s Indy 500 was won by a rookie with previous F1 experience.

  11. *unpopular opinion alert*
    I think this may be part of Alonso’ recent inflated self-worth, where he is constantly in the form of his life, driving better than before (and more importantly, anyone in the field) and determined to show the world he is the best there ever was. Only, I don’t see it working out that way. Indy 500 is a totally different animal and unless he really has a competitive car and gets on it straight away I can see it getting to be quite a dissapointment. And to skip the Monaco GP, where the McLaren might actually do quite well (the chassis seems to be good), for a wild shot at glory seems a bit … I dunno, I’m excited by the bizarreness of the news, but I don’t really see it.

    1. The car has a 75% retirement rate and the one classification it has was stone dead last of those classified. Even if it limps to the end of the GP I don’t think Alonso is bothered about sneaking a couple of points and fighting with Sauber when there is the opportunity to win another race and pursue a jewel in the crown of motorsport.

      1. Opportunity? How realistic is that opportunity? Alexander Rossi got insanely lucky with fuel last year, so yeah, a rookie *can* win, but he had least had a few oval races practice before hand, so really I don’t see it.

        1. Alonso has a knack for being lucky with his race results though, when luck presents itself he tends to be in the right place to benefit.

          Talking about on track obviously, in terms of his team movements that is for sure the yang to his race results yin.

          1. @philipgb In Dutch there’s a saying that literally translates to “luck is enforced” (by the person who’s deemed lucky), meaning there’s no such thing as being (un)lucky. I don’t know if there’s an English equivalent for this, but we use it to state that there’s usually more than just being (un)lucky, especially when it always seems to happen to the same person.

        2. Montoya won it as a rookie by kicking everyone’s tail. He led 167 laps. Worth a shot for Alonso. He has a much better chance of winning Indy this year than he has of winning Monaco, and everyone at McLaren knows it.

      2. @philipgb Come on, that’s just looking for things to make McLaren look worse than they are. You cannot base a retirement rate on two races. And yeah, Vandoorne was last in Australia, but apart from last years race he’s still a rookie and also much more intelligent and capable than Stroll for instance. So all he did was bring the car home.

        McLaren knows they’re performance is not good to say the least, so every km on track is worthy information and they do have to safe a lot of fuel during the race, which hurts their performance as well. Can’t you just look at it from a more positive note and see that Alonso was running in points scoring position both of the races meaning there’s a lot of potential?

        Also, it’s not about Alonso being bothered to race against Sauber or not, it’s about his willingness to bring McLaren-Honda back to the top or at least close. I don’t see it happening any time soon either, but when they do start to get their act together with the engine finally, I suspect they’ll quickly become a team to battle against Red Bull’s current performance.

        1. @addvariety

          You don’t have to look hard for things to make McLaren look bad. Did a power unit even complete a race distance in testing?

          There is no positive note to look at the Honda situation from, they have the stone dead last power unit which is even worse than the one they had last year. If they’re here after years of development, they aren’t going to magically have it sorted during the season. Hondas F1 program is an absolute disaster and with a new engine formula for 2021 what chance do they have to rescue it without then meaning they’re not ready for those rules?

          Alonso is now in his third year of providing them with ‘worthy’ information, he’d be a test driver for Mercedes if he cared about that role. He is in his third year with McLaren of not even having a car capable of podiums let alone the championship, that with any driver other than one of the other 5 top tier drivers is lucky to score points.

          1. @philipgb I agree with you, but it came across as “the glass is half empty”, kinda pessimistic and rubbing it in while we all know McLaren, Honda and Alonso are going through one of the toughest fases of their existence/career.

          2. @addvariety For McLaren and Alonso maybe. Honda have plenty of experience at throwing huge sums of money at F1 and spectacularly underperforming. It has defined almost their entire history of competing in F1.

  12. The first signs of the end of Fernando’s career in F1. I hope he wins the Indy 500, would be nice for him to finally win again.

    1. Thought the same. But I really hope we are far from reality.

    2. Completely agree. While I think it’s cool that he’s racing Indy, it is the 1st sign that he has one foot out the door of F1. Could this lead to full time ride in Indy? We would love him in the states and this could only help Indy car.

  13. Remarkable from McLaren, clearly feeling the need to keep him happy, and not expecting the car to have improved much by Monaco!

  14. “Indy Lights engine, Indy Lights! Argh!”

    1. +9001 underrated comment

      1. PLEASE do it Keith !!!

    2. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
      12th April 2017, 11:52

      Ahahahahhaha very good!

    3. COTD! Made me laugh pretty damn hard

  15. Amazing news. Alonso’s just gone up several notches in my estimation.

    For those of you in the UK, the Indy 500 will be live on BT Sport with no adverts during the green flag running.

    1. Keith we need a F1Fanatic worldwide channel with free-to-air broadcasting. That’s the dream

      1. @johnmilk I’m trying to be more realistic: I’d like to have worldwide online broadcasting either via subscription or pay-per-race. Currently each country only has one or two tv channels that are allowed to broadcast F1 and in all cases they charge horrible amounts of money.

        It’s just that I cannot stand looking at horrible 480p screener caps a couple of days after the race knowing the results already, but I pay € 15,50 a month just for F1, nothing else. That’s € 186 a year. It’s cheaper for me to visit the London, Berlin and Paris Formula E quali and race in person!

        1. @addvariety maybe you should go watch formulaE then? Im not saying f1 isn’t over priced, but formulaE is a rip off… even at those prices.

          Might as well go watch a high school football game afterwards…

          1. Right, and you’re basing that on what exactly?

            Seriously, the Formula E race in Monaco is € 20 per person and € 10 per person from the third onwards. Children up to 16 are free (up to 3 per adult). And that’s for the whole Saturday in which they practice, qualify and race. It’s cheaper than a lunch on Monaco.

            And yes, I do watch Formula E as well. It’s not always as exciting as Formula 1 can be, but most races are much more exciting with a lot more action than the F1 Australian GP was. I almost fell asleep, literally.

    2. More of amazing decision by Mclaren – would have thought one of the best chances to get points this season unless there is massive improvements due later in the year… PR/sponsors payoff?

      Alonso, even with everything going his way as no chance of winning, even a podium position must be less then a 5% chance….

      A chance to mix it at the top end of the grid in one of motorsports most iconic races…. bit of a no brainer….

      The Formula 1 and Monaco GP hierarchy can’t be thrilled to be dropped for the Indy 500. Can’t help but think what Eccelstone must thinking….

    3. Great News! love him

    4. Fukobayashi (@offdutyrockstar)
      12th April 2017, 12:30

      I was just about to ask that! I would love to watch this live. Exciting stuff

    5. @keithcollantine Do you know if there is a way for a non-BT, non-Sky customer to access BT Sport? I don’t mean dodgy streaming services, I mean legit pay-per-view. I tried looking on the BTSport site but it wasn’t at all clear.

      1. @mazdachris That’s a good question – I don’t know but I’ll ask next time I’m in (which should be for the Barber IndyCar race).

        1. Any joy?

          1. My understanding is it’s still under discussion. I’ll post updates on this via my personal Twitter account as soon as there’s any news:

            https://twitter.com/keithcollantine

      2. This is a long-shot, but if you’re in the UK and you have an EE sim-card, or know anyone who subscribes to EE, you can watch BT sport on an EE device for free/£5 a month. I have a terrible Samsung tablet that I pay an EE subscription to use for BT sport.

        Probably isn’t going to work for you, but that’s the only way I know, other than the other methods you mentioned. I wish BT offered a dedicated subscription service for their TV.

      3. @mazdachris Go to Batmanstream.com or cricfree.com on your computer and you can watch anything related to sport live.

        1. @patcee He did say “I don’t mean dodgy streaming services, I mean legit pay-per-view”!

          1. @keithcollantine so I better not mention one I just found with good quality.
            I would rather pay for a real stream option for all the season though. I mean, I have to depend on luck many times, and it has also happened to me that one race look good on some streaming page, and next race it’s all blurry and “squary”.

          2. @Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) Sorry Kieth, you are quite right. I only half read his post so I do apologize.

  16. wow,

    i find this pretty hilarious.
    genuinely hope it goes better than ‘in the wall on lap 1’ for him

  17. The Indycar people will be very, very happy with such a big name in the series.

    1. @franco I doubt he’s that big a name over there. Despite what F1 always tries to tell us i’m pretty sure america as a whole does not really give a flying fudge about F1

      1. WhyIsEuropeSoBasic
        12th April 2017, 15:29

        American here. F1 fan. IndyCar/Crapwagon fan. Stoked for Alonso. Hopefully Charlie Kimbal doesn’t wreck him.

  18. Man, this guy is so desperate to show anyone that he is a good driver. Now he has to resort to these antics to achieve glory.

    1. Blimey what a miserable comment. Hahaha.

    2. Fukobayashi (@offdutyrockstar)
      12th April 2017, 12:34

      He’s already shown he’s a great driver hauling that pig of a car into the points the last two races when one of the supposed ‘next big thing’ in Stoffel couldn’t get anywhere close.

      He should be able to do whatever he wants this year because yet another season is quite obviously a write off.

      McLaren also know that as soon as he leaves, their fate in the midfield will be sealed. No champion will drive for that team after this year and they will be just another Williams sadly.

    3. @realstig. He hasn’t resorted to anything. Indy 500 is massive to race fans, I think its one of the most attended sports events in the world and is a blue riband event for motorsports, the pageantry, tradition and history make it an incredible event and wheel to wheel racing on an oval is exciting

      1. The 500 is a huge event last year on race day they had almost 400,000 people in the stands! What f1 race can pull that off these days for a one day number?

  19. I find this news incredibly positive. I now being a F1 fan, I got to find ways to be cynical about it. But I can’t, this is a very exciting & interesting development.

    1. It’s amazing!

  20. The Indy 500 rookie orientation just got a lot more interesting this year!!

  21. This is such awesome news and I for one can’t wait for the 500!

    But will Alonso be able to commit to all the testing with the Spanish GP being in the same month?

  22. I’ll be watching for the first time and I’ve been watching/following F1 since 1966.

    1. @blik Genuine question: How did you follow back then? It is (still) quite hard to find any meaningful footage pre ~1980

      1. Tommy Scragend
        12th April 2017, 13:47

        They still had newspapers and magazines back then, radio, and probably some newsreel footage as well. Sky broadcast some newsreel footage of some GPs from the 1950s (Spa/Silverstone).

        You can follow a sport without watching it on the TV.

      2. ‘Following’ in today’s terms would be an exaggeration I suppose. It started even earlier at Killarney race Track in 1962 when Jim Clark, Jo Bonnier and Trevor Taylor drove F1 cars in the Cape grand Prix witnessed by me as an eleven year old. From there following consisted of my brother and I towing plastic F1 cars (Mine a Lotus which lead to eventual ownership of a real one and his a Porsche) behind us all day long. Our only further exposure was matinee movie newsreels which would have us reenacting what we saw on the wayhome. Boarding school intervened and in 1968 a school trip saw us all at Kyalami for the South African Grand Prix won by Jim Clark (South African John Love had almost won the SAGP the year before hence the hype). From then we followed in earnest as as the group that attended the GP would scan all of the newspapers in the school library for news and of course every Saturday we would be at the local cinema for the Pathe newsreels. No television in those days.

        1. Such a shame there seems to be no full race footage of, for example, Monza 1967…

          1. Morningview66
            12th April 2017, 17:02

            This is something I have found very interesting after starting to search for old races.

            After about 4 years I have found that pretty much all races are available in full from ~1978 (early ones not in English) I guess it was about this time of home video recorders and full races on tv.

            Before this a lot of races, especially in Europe were filmed from around mid 60s. Though mostly show on TV in segments interspersed with other sports. Unfortunately they are only located in TV archives, some French TV stuff has made it onto YouTube. But the rest is either lost or forgotten somewhere.

            I expect the BBC have plenty of 60s/70s footage (there are clips in several documentaries) but unfortunately not available to the public!

      3. There are strictly f1 file sharing communities (invite only of course) out there that have not only magazine scans that cover as far back as the 30’s that have full race reports for each round. Not to mention clips that date as far back as right after WW2. They are not very long but they are available if you know where to look.

  23. Possibly the most surprising Wednesday morning I’ve had in a while on this site, but have no doubts; this is brilliant news for motorsport.

    I’m very excited for Alonso to showcase his broad talents in another category. It’ll be amazing to see if he can challenge the established front runners and maybe even go for victory.

    Well done to McLaren for letting him do this; he’s only going to get more frustrated sat in the car, especially early in the year, so this makes perfect sense for all parties.

    Perhaps a stiff ask for Jenson Button’s first experience of the 2017 beast to be on a circuit lined with walls, but I’m sure he’s up to it (if the car starts!). A more romantic place to retire (from the sport) than Abu Dhabi at least…

  24. Awesome news.

    Great to see Alonso making the best of a bad situation. He’s in a position where he can blackmail them for once again, providing such a terrible car to do battle with for 2017 (or more specifically, a poor engine).

    I know that comes across a bit negative, but oh well. I just think it’ll be great to watch!

  25. Huge news!

    It’s great that mclaren are allowing him to do this.. though I’d imagine if they were up the front it’d be a different story haha!

    And it will be great to see Jensen back in the car! Monaco should hopefully be a great opportunity for mclaren to back some solid points

  26. I view this as terrible news.. Alonso is still capable of winning in F1. This is just a sign that we might be losing one of the best drivers ever. And the other thing is, Indy does not have the same safety standards as F1 and is a lot more dangerous. If something goes wrong it could be the end of his career.

  27. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
    12th April 2017, 11:56

    Awesome news. Love this move by Nando.

    If he ain’t going to add to his win tally in F1 this year he may as well go after that triple crown while he can. Love it.

  28. I thought Kurt Busch racing in the 500 a few years back was major news. This is still hard to grasp as a huge fan of both IndyCar and F1.

    The Honda seems to be the preferred engine after two street races. The Brickyard just is a whole different animal. I live a three hour drive from Speedway, IN and have to figure this out now.

  29. That’s jaw dropping news and I am not sure that I like it. Oval track racing is utterly terrifying.
    Maybe that’s why he’s doing it?

  30. Surprising and exciting news.
    I share the view (*popular view alert @hahostolze :p) that he’s currently driving at an incredibly high level. And in a McLaren-Honda-F1 that is a wasted effort; bring on the McLaren-Honda-Andretti
    Expectations are low, but excitement high.

    If only there were a LeMans seat available (http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2017/04/12/f1-fanatic-round-up-1204-3/) ;)

    1. “If only there were a LeMans seat available”
      That’s exactly where my thoughts went, too!

  31. Good luck to him! Hopefully he can get up to speed and competitive! Hopefully Button for McLaren at Monaco, I know he’s a bit past it but as you all know I’m a massive Jenson fan!

  32. Quite taken aback by this in all honesty but it is in keeping with the Alonso we know. Fernando wanted out of Ferrari as early as 2013 to compete in Le Mans and I think we all know he’ll just move categories when he retires. He’s in racing to race. I know he gets a lot of sly looks with his self promotion but he’s been doing that quite literally all his career. He believes it keeps him motivated and likewise the team. Sportsmen at the top level are delicate and if it works for him, let him as far as I see. Schumi, Rosberg and Vettel liked to spend time with their families, Senna did charity work, Hamilton likes to live his idea of the high life. Each to their own if it makes them better.

    As for Alonso, I wish him every success in the 500, he clearly wants to illustrate his talent for the history books as Champion, Monaco winner, Monza winner and debut winner for Ferrari, won on 3 tyre manufacturers, won for 3 different teams over 2 different regulation sets, missed out on 3 titles by the skin of his teeth, won races a decade apart etc. The point being he has the greatest legacy of all Spanish F1 drivers and has set a challenge to Sainz and the next generation whom he is helping at his museum. If he were to win the 500, Le Mans and the WEC title then he could be argued to be in the top 5 of all time.

  33. One 3 month iRacing subscription please. Name: Fred Arkwright…

    1. Wouldn’t be surprised if he has iRacing already. Then again, who knows?

  34. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
    12th April 2017, 12:25

    I am embarrassed I didn’t foresee this.

    Apathetic Honda driver seeks competitive new career direction, meanwhile Honda comes on strong in one of the biggest headline series in the world. Alonso gets to fight for wins again, American fans get to see just how handy these F1 drivers are. It makes so much sense.

    I think we might very well see Alonso racing IndyCars full time in the near future. The only real reason we have casually assumed that WEC is the logical next destination for Fernando’s career is that an IndyCar career tends to mean the driver needs to move to the states – Felix Rosenqvist’s truncated Indy Lights campaign plays testament to problems with remaining in Europe. But who knows, perhaps Fernando already has a property in the states?

    On one last note: Scott Dixon vs Fernando Alonso…yeah, I’ll buy a ticket…

    1. Fukobayashi (@offdutyrockstar)
      12th April 2017, 12:43

      Fernando strikes me as quite the citizen of the world from his social media. He likes California for sure and speaking Spanish gets you places there also, I wouldn’t rule it out at all.

  35. Nice one! Good luck Alonso.

  36. I keep checking the date, is the 12th of April some kind of backup April fools’ day?

  37. Alonso must be completely out of his mind if he thinks he’d have any chance whatsoever in Indy 500. He has zero experience about the oval-racing and Dallara chassis, so I can’t see him finishing anywhere near the podium. He just happens to miss the best chance for McLaren in whole year by concentrating on this publicity stunt.

    Welcome back Jenson! We missed ya.

    1. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
      12th April 2017, 12:42

      Alexander Rossi won it last year in his second oval start, for the same team

      1. And it was considered a big, big surprise. Rossi did all the pre-season testing and he was involved with the Indy 500 project from the beginning, so that’s why Alonso has smaller chances to win than Rossi did last year.

        1. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
          12th April 2017, 12:56

          Yes long odds certainly, but not ‘no chance whatsoever’.
          Anyone can win the lottery provided they bought a ticket.
          So long as he gets up to speed enough to keep it on the lead lap and out of the wall he’s in with a shot like anyone else

          1. @fullcoursecaution Sure, you’ve got to be in it, to win it. Except driving the brickyard for 500miles in about 2.5hrs is not really the same as waiting to see if your numbers come up now, is it?

        2. If drivers only raced expecting some sort of magical guarantee of a podium there would be no racing. I’m sure FA would agree it’s going to be a challenge. Isn’t that the point? In terms of trying to define odds, I would say he’ll be in a lot better car relative to the rest at Indy than at Monaco. At Indy he’ll be driving a McLaren Honda Andretti. Both teams on each side of the pond will garner a spike in publicity over this. What a great thing. So exciting. Liberty must be thrilled too.

        3. Hill won the race as a rookie in 1966. Montoya won the race as a rookie in 2000. Rossi won as a rookie last year.
          I don’t think he’ll have any problem getting up to speed. That being said, there has never been an Indy 500 winner from Spain.

    2. Fukobayashi (@offdutyrockstar)
      12th April 2017, 12:54

      I look forward to you eating your words.

      So what if he misses Monaco? He would probably claw the car up to 7th or 8th only for it to break down as usual.

    3. Of course, this is why its so damn interesting!

  38. Beggining of the end for McLaren in F1? Proped up by Honda for budget, no constructors title for nearly 20 years, this is a chance for huge exposure of their brand in the worlds biggest car market?

    Or will other F1 teams have a go at this in future?

  39. Probably the best chance Alonso and McLaren have of winning a race this season. And it’s not as if McLaren have any sponsors who are going to be put out by the team not having their star driver on hand for the Monaco race weekend!

  40. Tony Mansell
    12th April 2017, 13:05

    No he wont miss Monaco. Not one bit. He should walk it, Jim Clark went over and showed them how to drive and Mansell did the same – and that’s just the Brits.

    1. Mansell failed to win Indy. He was poised to win it in 1993, but got jumped on the restart towards the end of the race and never recovered. Fittipaldi and Luyendyk both managed to blow by on the misjudged restart by Mansell. Ironically that would be a Brazilian and the Flying Dutchman passing the Brit. (none of them American)

  41. Give him a good car and his chances are as good as anyones.
    F1 is more difficult so this may seem easier to him.
    Hamilton and Vettel must be a bit jealous – championship or not.

  42. I really hope Alonso wins the Indy500, proving yet again that f1 drivers are the best drivers in the world.
    What I really hope doesn’t happen is Button returning for Monaco.

    1. Why on Earth do you hope that?
      Monaco is Button’s home. He knows the track like the back of his hand. He has won there in the past. He is already contracted to the team and has a super license. In fact I would bet that this has always been on the cards since the winter and just now can be announced, and that Alonso wouldn’t be able to do the Indy 500 if Button hadn’t already agreed to race at Monaco.

      1. Because I think Button doesn’t deserve to be in F1 anymore. I rather see a new, interesting talent parking is car in a barrier than boring “I’m always driving within the limits of my car” Jenson Button. (i’m no fan of jenson btw :) )

        1. @murph It’s one single race. You have your young, interesting talent in the other car. A retired world champion returning for a one off race, should be a celebrated event.

  43. Yes, as per one of the above comments Alonso certainly does have an over inflated self worth – show me one driver on the current F1 grid that doesn’t and I’ll show you a driver who should not be there. It’s just in their make up and competitive edge!

  44. Would be nice to see quickest guy in corners do in oval.
    Which only have 2…

    1. @elangsawah hate to be a pain but IMS has four corners!!!

  45. That is so cool, I’ll be watching for sure.

  46. This could be the end of Alonso. After the indie race he will announce he enjoyed it so much that he’s leaving F1 for good. Keeps his dignity. Goodbye oul chum. Pity you didn’t touch lucky like Lewis and recently Seb when they took a leap into the unknown.

  47. Wow, did I ever pick the right year to knock “attend the Indy 500” off my bucket list.

    1. You jammy thing :-)

    2. Me too Louie. I’ve been to many IndyCar races, never the 500.

      I’ve got two tickets to this years race. Never attended before. AMAZING!!!

  48. Now that’s a big news. I’m looking forward to see what he can do at the Indy 500 and I wonder who will take over his seat. Probably Jenson.

  49. Shivang (@angelicdarkness)
    12th April 2017, 14:22

    And the bomb dropped. Lol.

  50. I guess Alonso wants to prove he is still the best given he has a good machine.

    Yes will be interesting to see, and I will not miss that race (Indy), I’ve never watched one live ever !

  51. I am really surprised but very excited for the news. Maybe someone should let Alonso know that all 4 Andretti cars failed to finish the last Indycar race at Long Beach due to technical failures.
    But then Alonso should look at the more modern era beyond Hill \ Clark to those that have attempted the move from F1 to Indycar (CART).
    The most famous F1 to Indy rookie is the 1992 F1 World Champion, Nigel Mansell, in 1993. He managed 3rd in the race. But that was after crashing heavily on his first oval attempt, earlier in the year at Phoenix that forced him to sit out the Phoenix race.
    In 1995 Christian Fittipaldi went one place better than Mansell on his rookie Indy 500 and finished 2nd.
    But then F1 to Indy 500 sort of dries up until we get to 2008.
    In 2008 we have Enrique Bernoldi who finished 15th, and Justin Wilson 27th.
    2010 Takuma Sato managed 20th.
    2012 had the year of Rubens Barrichello (11th) and Jean Alesi (33rd – that’s last and yes it really was the Jean Alesi).
    2016 Max Chilton came 15th. Of course we all know Alex Rossi finally won the race. Albeit on an amazing fuel saving run.
    So does Alonso think he’s better than those drivers? Of course he does. Will he win with Andretti? That’s hard to tell. It’s not an easy transition. Oval racing is a unique skill. You only have to look at what happened to James Hinchcliffe (2015) to see that the Indy 500 can still bite back fiercely when it goes wrong and you need courage to drive that track. I wish all the drivers a safe race this year.

    1. shouldn’t Montoya be on this list?

      1. WhyIsEuropeSoBasic
        12th April 2017, 15:30

        Montoya came from CART to the IRL.

        1. WhyIsEuropeSoBasic
          12th April 2017, 15:32

          Should add this was for his first Indy 500 win back in 2000.

    2. Well, Alonso should be quite adapt at fuel saving by now.

      :)

  52. Alonso you are a legend. Best of luck!

  53. a surprising decision before the definitive F1 retirement of alonso? it also gives the impression that McLaren isn’t committed anymore to F1; they have been nowhere for 3 years, and prefer to stick their name on a car to create a bit of story. a marketing exercise rather than a proper engineering led racing program.

  54. I think with Liberty maybe we will have a f1’s calendar that allows drivers to be in LeMans24h and Indy500. It will be amazing to see 3/4 f1 drivers in these competitions. And to have in exchange some non Championship grand prix with drivers from other series (DTM, rally, indycar, retired ones…).

  55. With how Alonso has managed to be in the wrong car at the wrong time throughout his career, Jenson Button will probably end up winning the Monaco GP.

    1. jenson button
      12th April 2017, 18:40

      i approve this. give me that formula 2 engine

  56. What do we think they will do for a livery? Go with the F1 Livery or find sponsors for the car? I hate the new F1 livery but i hope thats what they go with

    1. It would become a one off classic. I could imagine the F1 car and the Indycar sitting next to each other in the McLaren museum sporting matching liveries.

  57. Love this! Thought it didn’t happen in F1 anymore

    Last men to win the 500 on debut were Rossi on a fuel save last year, Castroneves in 2001 and Montoya in 2000 but the field was weaker at the time as most top teams were in CART

    My guess is that Alonso needs a giant amount of luck to get a good result here – no experience with the car or with ovals. He is taking a massive risk on his reputation and that is incredibly good to see.

  58. You know what would be hillariously in line with Alonso’s history of bad choices? For Button to win a freak drenched race while Alonso’s indy honda blows up after three laps…

    … You know it’s in the realm of possibility (or in a hommage to Terry Pratchett, it’s precisely a one in a million chance and, therefore, dead certain to happen)

    1. My prediction championship entry for Monaco:
      Button
      Vettel
      Versappen
      Bottas
      Grosjean

      And if course Button beats Alonso in the driver’s championship.

  59. Excellent!

    I said this few days ago… And boom he does it! And he should do Le Mans aswell… and guest in McLaren until they are competitive.

  60. Watching Indianapolis that weekend.

    Although can’t help but feel he would do better on a circuit though…
    Might as well make it an F1 car as they’re faster than an Indy car, even a McLaren…
    Better still a circuit that minimises the Honda F1 PU deficits to the competition…

    Like Monaco…

  61. He should just quit then.
    A guy who earns 40 million/year and the only thing that he does is expose the team and talk himself up. “I’m the fastest in the corners”… As I said before, he putted himself on the situation he is in, i don’t understand why people talk like he “must” have something better. If he is miserable, walk away, but i guess that paycheck have some say in it.
    Shame Ron Dennis isn’t in Mclaren anymore…

  62. Woke up, read this news and thought my calendar must be broken!

    Cup of coffee, read it again and wow, what a whopper! Big news for IndyCar and F1 both. Did not see this coming at all. At least Honda does fairly well with their IndyCar engines. :-)

    Ovals like Indy are much different than what Alonso is used to, but a great race car driver is a great race car driver. I respected Michael Schumacher’s decision to never race the high speed ovals. They are a beast. Eau Rouge is over in an instant. Indy’s corners feel like forever and each of the four turns is a bit different even though they may look identical. Sounds like Alonso is up for the challenge.

    I watch the Indy 500 every year. This year it will be more special than usual.

  63. Good on Alonso, he must be very bored with F1 at the mo. It’s a shame the best driver on the grid is in such an uncompetitive F1 car.

    1. @peppermint-lemon
      Don’t worry, I read Red Bull will introduce a new car in Spain so I expect Verstappen will be in a much more competitive car by then.

  64. As an IndyCar fanatic as well, so this is a “Finally!” moment for me. I watch both races every year I can, and treat it as pretty much my high holy day of racing every year, and love it when crossovers happen. This got me thinking:

    There’s no way the Indianapolis 500’s date will move, it’s been there for over a century, and Monaco was fluid until recent years, so why not just move the four-week break up a few months? Do a bunch of flyaway races until mid-May, pause a month, let the drivers go to Indy if they want, and then start the European season after the break. With France coming back, that’s 9 + Russia in Europe, (Counting Baku as one of the flyaways), it could reasonably be compressed within 12-13 weeks, to keep the Canadian GP in September so it’s not too cold. Early October in South Texas is hot but not brutal, so it could be done.

    Suggestion:
    Melbourne (1wk earlier than this year)
    Shanghai +2wk from season start
    Bahrain +4wk
    Sochi +6wk
    Baku +7wk
    (Four Week Break)
    Barcelona +12wk
    Paul Ricard +14wk
    Silverstone +15wk
    Spa
    Hockenheim
    Red Bull Ring
    Hungaroring
    Monza
    Monte Carlo
    Gilles Villeneuve
    COTA
    Hermanos Rodriguez
    Interlagos
    Suzuka
    Singapore
    Yas Marina (ideally moved up but money…)

    1. Edit:

      Melbourne (1wk earlier than this year)
      Shanghai +2wk from season start
      Bahrain +4wk
      Sochi +6wk
      Baku +7wk
      (Four Week Break)
      Barcelona +12wk
      Paul Ricard +13wk
      Silverstone +15wk
      Spa +17wk
      Hockenheim +18wk
      Red Bull Ring +20wk
      Hungaroring +21wk
      Monza +23wk
      Monte Carlo +24wk
      Gilles Villeneuve +26wk
      COTA +28wk
      Hermanos Rodriguez +29wk
      Interlagos +31wk
      Suzuka +32wk
      Singapore +34wk
      Yas Marina (ideally moved up but money…) +36wk

      Thus, it’s over by the end of November, as usual. Just allows for Indy and Le Mans, while giving those in France the choice to go to back to back race weekends after being starved from F1 for a decade.

      1. @spdoyle17 now that Bernie has been sacked and does not hold a controlling stake on F1 and also that Liberty is run by Americans there may be a chance for things to move who knows?

  65. We all know what happens the following year after Jensen gets into a Honda powered car…. *Brawn/Mercedes*

    1. edit: a *failing Honda powered car

      *Earth dreaming*

  66. Bored of the whole ‘he just wants to make himself look good’ talk, he’s already said he doesn’t expect to win.

    Look at it this way, the man is 35 and ain’t getting younger. Why not go and do something different while he still has a chance. Even if he bins it into the wall on lap 1, it’s always better to regret doing something than regret not doing it. He’s been racing in F1 cars exclusively since 2001 and is currently in a car that will probably finish 8th at best, if at all. In my opinion, it’s great thing for both IndyCar and F1 to have one of their most celebrated drivers competing in an i incredibly popular event.

    1. @davef1
      But it’s Alonso’s own fault. He’s been blowing his own horn for so long that it’s impossible not to see this as another “I am the greatest” statement.
      But, as with all his passed shenanigans I wouldn’t be surprised if this blows up in his face as well.
      Something about hubris and flying too close to the sun.

  67. Wonder if influenced by Montoya in any way?

  68. Fernando is switched on. He may well be thinking how much data can he glean from the Honda IndyCar engine and take to the F1 programme, as well as a spot of head hunting whilst he’s at it.

    His brain will be filled with as much knowledge as he can because at the end of the day he’s a racer with a racer’s mind and he will do whatever it takes to win …

  69. Gabriel Armstrong
    12th April 2017, 20:23

    “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 [354kph].”
    “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.”

    Does anyone but me think this isn’t Alonzo’s voice, but a PR team script to build up the excitement for the bigger team? Don’t get me wrong, he has been my fave driver for years, but this is a man who is truly a racer, who’s talent is being wasted on a car that can’t perform (yes, I know he’s made his choices). Honda is in need of some good PR and sending him to Indy is a desperate measure to save face. There is a pay day to do this for him, and maybe a bit of glory if he does well, but do we really think he will win? Or, do we hope he will and, moreover, does McLaren Honda hope it will divert attention from their pathetic F1 performance.

  70. I wondered why Zak Brown came to McLaren. Now it’s obvious, to make IndyCar more popular!

  71. I hope Fernando has a good race and does well…should JB be at Monaco. then he needs some time in the car….possibly taking FP1 at every race up to Monaco, starting this weekend at Dubai….even taking Alonsos car??….although I wouldn’t be surprised if Stoffel got dropped eventually

  72. Ferrari, Seb fan
    12th April 2017, 21:38

    For me, this is a big surprise. I hope Alonso wins, if there is anyone who deserves the triple crown (in my opinion), it’s Alonso. Good luck Fernando.

  73. So, if Juan Pablo Montoya wins the 24 Le Mans race he is the best driver in the world? Better than Schumacher, Hamilton, Vettel? Ok, if Alonso say that it must be truth.

  74. Here is an interesting prospect rosberg to race for mclaren in monaco or actually doing an alonso to compete in indy 500 as well
    also what are the chances of alonso racing in this year le mans? to the bookies we go

  75. Really excited about this, especially since this year Mr Pink bit the bullet and got pay tv, so I can watch the Indy 500 for the first time ever!

  76. This is the most exciting news of F1 2017 till now. No comparison at all.
    haha.. Happy for Alonso.

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