Fernando Alonso, McLaren, Bahrain International Circuit, 2017

Is Alonso’s IndyCar adventure positive for Formula One?

Debates and PollsPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Fernando Alonso’s decision to race in the Indianapolis 500 this year is without doubt the biggest surprise the sport has seen since Nico Rosberg announced his retirement after winning the championship last year.

The development has been seen as a positive one for the IndyCar series and for McLaren. But as Alonso has chosen to skip the Monaco Grand Prix to take part in the race, how does it reflect on Formula One?

For

While Formula One will have to do without one of its best drivers in its most prestigious race, Alonso was unlikely to be a competitive force in the event anyway. This is no reflection on his talents, of course, but on the McLaren-Honda package, which has proved a crushing disappointment.

And what F1 is losing by not having Alonso is surely made up by the fact McLaren has promoted another world champion in its place. The return of Jenson Button to action adds another positive storyline.

Two years ago Nico Hulkenberg went to one of the other races in the ‘triple crown’ Alonso is seeking to win and took victory first time out. That reflected well on the standard of driving in F1. Success for Alonso at Indianapolis would do the same in a market where F1 is desperate to thrive.

Against

By spurning Monaco for Indianapolis Alonso is sending out a message that IndyCar is more important than Formula One. This diminishes the sport, even if another world champion is arriving to take his place.

IndyCar is a more dangerous form of motor racing than Formula One and superspeedways like Indianapolis are the most dangerous venues of all. Alonso has already missed races in the last two seasons due to injury and is placing himself in unnecessary danger by taking on this race.

Alonso’s efforts will only reflect well on F1 if he succeeds. Against an entry list featuring hardened veterans with decades of oval experience, and fellow novices who might end his race at the first corner, the odds against him will be high.

I say

As I wrote last week, I think the news is almost entirely positive for Formula One:

Twitter says

Alonso’s news has already sent some people scrambling to buy tickets for this year’s Indianapolis 500 while it seems few, if any, are planning to sell their Monaco tickets on the strength of his absence. Here’s what a selection of Twitter users had to say:

You say

Is Alonso racing at Indianapolis positive or negative for F1? Cast your vote below and explain you views in the comments.

Is Fernando Alonso racing at Indianapolis positive for Formula One?

  • Very positive (62%)
  • Slightly positive (23%)
  • Neither positive nor negative (6%)
  • Slightly negative (4%)
  • Very negative (5%)
  • No opinion (1%)

Total Voters: 261

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86 comments on “Is Alonso’s IndyCar adventure positive for Formula One?”

  1. Regardless of the situation, whether he does well or not, I think it reflects terribly on F1. He is missing its most glamorous, headline race for the most glamorous, headline race of another series. That’s bad. He’s doing it because the F1 rules are so skewed and wrong that his team can spend hundreds of millions without making one bit of progress in three years. That’s really bad. The whole token system and the lack of progress it fostered is farcical, and it’s leading one of F1’s best drivers (albeit an incredibly impatient one) to jump ship exactly when F1 is in the full spotlight. I think it’s definitely not positive. I’d be for F1 drivers doing other race series, whether occassionally or as much as possible, if the events didn’t clash and the reason was enthusiasm rather than frustration. But that’s just me.

    1. @hahostolze It is not the “rules” that is preventing Honda from doing a “proper” job. Just incompetence.

      1. No, it’s the rules. The pecking order hasn’t changed in several years, and only one engine manufacturer has made any progress at all, really. And that’s entirely down to the now-defunct token system, yes, but it’s also down to homologation / lifecycle management and the near-total absence of testing, all of which still remain. It is nearly impossible for Honda or Renault to make progress from their current positions, and unless we have another formula change I full expect both to quit F1 within 2-3 years.

        1. near-total absence of testing

          The teams can do as much testing as they like; on dynos. It is only putting them in actual cars and running them around circuits that is restricted. They can however put them in actual cars on dynos, and run them. Yes, it is a bit daft if you asked me.

    2. Alonso wouldn’t even be thinking of skipping Monaco if he were in one of the 3 top teams. He’s only missing the race because he put his eggs in a terrible basket and he put them there himself. He’s trying to save his legacy.
      This has got nothing to do with F1 as an institution, and everything to do with a driver who let to many opportunities slip away in the past.
      A driver with a big ego who now fears he might be forgotten in the face of the titanic battle forming at the top between the multi-champions of this generation.
      He’s trying to stay relevant and he knows any real legacy building will have to happen outside of F1 in the future.

      1. Absolutely spot on mate!

        What’s being done by Alonso is purely to build his ego. If anyone thinks he cares if this move is good for F1, are sadly mistaken. Alonso has always been about one thing only, him.

        1. Alonso has always been about one thing only, him.

          And why exactly, should he be about anything else other than him???

      1. I disagree with the above. To say tokens is the reason FA is doing Indy is silly but is also trying to change what is already done. This is about a new chapter, a unique opportunity due to several circumstances lining up, and a sign of a better atmosphere all around post-BE. It is ridiculous to say this is all happening because of frustration. This is not about one drivers ego, or him trying to make up for the past, or trying to stay relevant, as he will always be relevant as a rare Champion in F1. Sometimes I am surprised people who can put such lowly attributes to a driver, or the many people around him that support him and make things happen for him, still bother to watch F1, if it is that amateur to them.

        1. @robbie What’s silly is singling out the token argument. To me there’s no doubt whatsoever that the freezes, stringent development, lack of testing, penalties etc has been a huge part why Honda is not successful.

          But the question here if on of F1’s absolute top drivers dropping F1’s blue riband event for another in a (let’s face it) not-so-prestigious event can only reflect badly on F1, and it’s not only because of Honda. With a better management, the field would be tighter and newcomers like Honda would be given exceptions to get up to speed. To me it’s obvious.

    3. Yes, you are right, it does reflect badly on F1, but not because one of its top drivers is racing in a more popular lower grade racing series, but because Indy car racing, as a lower grade racing series, appears to be more popular. According to the Sports Media Watch website the Indianapolis 500 attracted an average of about 5.9M viewers last year, while the Monaco GP attracted about 1.3M viewers last year, meaning Indy car racing appears to be 4 times as popular as F1 is. F1, as the premier open wheel racing series, should be more popular than Indy car is.

      1. 1. The Indy 500 is broadcasted on free-to-air TV whilst Formula 1 is not.
        2. The Monaco GP is the most boring race of the season.

        1. Nailed it @jeffreyj !

          Particularly the second point. I have to admit that, if other demands
          on my time are strong, I have no real disappointment in missing Monaco.
          Only very rarely is it anything other than a procession. And the current
          super-tight development rules only exacerbate Monaco’s problems.
          I always look forward to the race following Monaco, wherever it is,
          because there’s more than half a chance of a proper battle between
          drivers on the track, which there very rarely is in the Principality.

          So…..Alonso is telling F1 in general and Mclaren in particular that
          there is a world outside F1 and some of it is infinitely less boring
          than the Monaco race.

          1. @loen The race following Monaco has been Canada since forever. Lucky for us that’s been a barnstormer more often than not.

            As for what Alonso is telling F1, to me he’s saying McLaren are producing a turd sandwich and they have been doing it since 2013.

        2. “Monaco most boring race of the season”

          Blasphemy!!!!

          Do me a favor and do not call yourself an F1 fan.

          1. Nigel, if you take the blinkers off you’ll know Jeffrey’s comments are
            accurate, if a little coarse ! Indeed, there have been occasions when
            Monaco has produced some excitement ( usually when the race is in
            the wet ! ) But most of the time it is nothing but a processional
            bore-fest. Sad, but true.

      2. One thing is for certain, IndyCar racing is a lot more exciting than F1. Watch it and you’ll find out.

    4. If you compare Honda’s 2016 season to 2017, it’s pretty obvious that the elimination of tokens merely made it possible for Honda to spectacularly screw up their new engine design.

    5. Yes (@come-on-kubica)
      23rd April 2017, 21:59

      I think it’s been by far the most interesting thing to happen in F1 this season (and that includes the prospect of a close title battle). I’ve just been listening to him talk during the indycar race and he sounds so enegised and happy to try something new. It feels like we’re going back to a completely different era of racing from a bygone era.

  2. I think it depends. If he wins, I think it’ll be a huge positive as it’ll show that the best drivers in the world are in F1. And from an outside who doesn’t necessarily know how good he is, they’ll see how poorly he’s doing in F1 and think “Wow, how good must Vettel and Hamilton be to be beating him by so much.” Of course this does all depend on McLaren giving him a good car for the Indy. Tbh even if he doesn’t do so well, which probably will be down to the car, it can still be a good thing for F1, to help draw in some more viewers from America.

    1. McLaren isn’t giving him a car for Indy, Andretti Autosport is.

      1. If they’re good then. Sorry, don’t really follow Indycar.

        1. The cars are quite spec in nature. I think FA will be in a win-capable car and it will moreso be lack of experience, or moreso the greater experience at this of others, that will be FA’s big challenge.

    2. it wont show that the best drivers in the world are in F1 if he wins or doesn’t, as he is going straight into a car that can potentially win the race. Much like Hulkenburg at Le Mans 24hours, who actually he had the fastest car by a long way, and was slower than his 2 team mates – that didn’t make people think that F1 has the best drivers. what is likely though is that people will think a high level champion racing driver can achieve highly in any race series.

  3. It’s clearly bad for F1 that one of the top drivers is willing to miss what is seen as the most important Grand Prix of the year to race in a rival event. Also, I am very surprised that the McLaren team has allowed this because they are potentially screwing themselves if he is involved in an accident, Jenson Button doesn’t seem motivated to return full time should he be required in the event that Alonso is sidelined for the rest of the season due to being caught up in someone elses crash.

    1. Monaco offers no more or less points than any other race. Why is it the most important? How do you know about JB’s motivation level if he suddenly had to fill in for the rest of the season? Do you hang out with him and talk to him about that possibility?

    2. What’s bad for F1 is how PATHETICALLY UNCOMPETETIVE it is seeing how a double world champion can’t even compete for points because how garbage of a car he drives.
      This is what throws people off from the sport (or “sport” rather) more than anything.

      1. He drives that car because he made bad decisions! And if the team can’t catch up to the other it’s because they are incompetent.
        He doesn’t deserve a better car just because he thinks he is the best of the world. This Indy 500 thing is just to inflate his ego, once again putting himself in front of everyone. And he gets 40 million/year to do that.

        1. Bad decision? He made a decision to either stay put for several more years at Red and probably get more of the same or take a chance to be a part of bringing a legendary team back to the top. Honda haven’t delivered as of yet but that could change. I give him credit for going for it.

      2. It always baffles me that even on this ‘forum’ people still see F1 as an athletes sport.
        F1 is a team sport first and foremost; the car is as important as the driver.

  4. It’s awful because it shows that unless you have the best car(s) at any one time you have no chance no matter how good you are.

    Hopefully other stars like Max, Dan, Hulk, Perez, Sainz jnr, Kyvat and maybe Button start competing in other series where they can achieve the glory their talents deserve.

    1. F1 is a team sport, similar to football.
      What the stars need to do is show how good they are in a Minardi, HRT, Toro Rosso to get hired by the big teams to achieve that glory.

      Ronaldo probably started at FC Madeira and had to prove himself before eventually being picked up by Real :p

  5. The only people this reflects negatively on is McLaren and Honda

    If he was leading the championship, or even had a car that could win races, he wouldn’t have considered, and then taken up, this offer

    1. Agree with this mostly. I think it is less worse for McLaren as at least their badge will be on the car. For Honda, it is another shot by Alonso against them.

      For F1 overall, it is good to neutral. Good if he does well, but I don’t think it’ll reflect badly if he doesn’t. He isn’t the first F1 – Indy cross over, nor the first entry to just join a single race. I think it’ll be quickly forgotten if he doesn’t do well.

    2. Alonso will be driving a Honda powered car at Indy…

  6. I can’t see that this is in any way negative for F1. It demonstrates a new spirit of freedom for drivers that can be ascribed to F1’s new leadership (even though it isn’t – it’s more the teams that forbid drivers getting involved in external races), if Alonso does well F1 can brag about its drivers being the best, if he crashes F1 can tell us they told us Indy car racing is dangerous, if he fails to keep up (probably impossible, knowing Alonso) F1 can point out how different a form of racing it is, America will be forced to consider where this guy calling himself a world champion has come from and some of them might even have a look at F1, Alonso will get away from the stifling atmosphere at McLaren at least for a while which might put him in a better humour, Button will grin from ear to ear and for one race F1 fans will be spared the pain of watching a great driver waste his talent on a car that isn’t going anywhere.

    1. It’s good for F1, IndyCar, Open Wheel.

      It needs to continue on a regular basis. Move the Monaco date so it can continue.

  7. The “Breaking” news the subsequent news and the lead up to and including Indy is all good for F1 no matter what.

  8. Alonso isn’t getting any younger, I would do the same if I were him. Also, in these times of presidents impossibly being elected, you can’t deny that any press is good press. Same goes for F1.

  9. Back in the day, when F1 aces wanted to try the Indy500, they didn’t really think about what that means to F1 or the Indycar. They did it because of passion, to perform well in a legandary race, and of course for some extra money. The best thing that could have happened to Alonso in Monaco is 1-2 points if he is lucky enough with that McLaren, exchanging this to a participation on an iconic challenge with any possible outcomes is a nobrainer. However, I don’t think Alonso wanted to race there in the first place, he would have opened for the Le Mans 24 if he could, but Honda had nothing there to offer him.

    1. I don’t see where you are basing your last sentence from. What makes you say you don’t think FA wanted to race Indy? Sounds like he is completely stoked to me.

      1. I obviously have no hard evidence, statement or something like this, if that’s what you meant, and I wrote that “I think” didn’t consider racing there until Honda came up with the idea to give him something that’s actually worth driving.

        1. Alonso has mentioned an Indy 500 drive on many occasions in the past.
          (e.g. Alonso not ruling out future Indy 500 drive – ESPN 2015)

  10. I remember when Nico Hulkenberg did Le Mans… totally awesome to follow… and then he won, reasserting belief F1 drivers are the best.

    They should race in as many categories as possible. This would give F1 relevance.

    Likewise team should be able to enter third cars and invite guest stars for certain races during the year…

    Imagine Having Button for Monaco GP in third McLaren, someone tell me this would not be popular? Or bringing some indy car stars for one off apperances. In 50s 60s… to be honest before Bernie, this kind of things regularly happend to great effect.

  11. Honestly, I don’t see what the fuss is all about, just another chance for opinionated people to rant and rave about something. This isn’t good or bad for F1, it just is what it is. Obviously, all the relevant parties involved thought it was an OK idea, why can’t we leave it at that?

    1. You too are entitled to your opinion! ;)

    2. Getting the change, and a solid reason to rant/discuss/talk about/hype up etc means it is getting attention. And in a positive way IMO @pastaman!

  12. This is only positive. An excellent happenstance that is likely a one-off due to several factors lining up. Very exciting. Gonna be fun to watch.

  13. Its going to be absolutely hilarious when his Honda engine lets go during the 500. haha

    1. It could definitely happen, especially since Andretti had 4 DNFs, including 2 engine failures, in Long Beach.

  14. I think it is positive for Alonso, for race drivers, for Indycar, for motor racing fans for Team McLaren – which will have there car livery on the Indycar Alonso will race. as for Formula One, probably no difference – and I don’t believe it deserves the positives going by the negative reaction of the f1 paddock, team principals, even the f1 drivers.

    1. I did not realise the car was going to have McLaren livery. Nice.

  15. The Indy 500 is the marque event they take pride in. lasts all month and allows one off entries to take part and is longer than most of the other races.

    Monaco is a shorter race than every other one on the calender in a closed off world. the only other difference is the amount of non caring, non entities they insist on interviewing on the grid.
    with the new wider cars around a tight street circuit it doesnt scream out to be an exciting race.

    I’d gladly skip Monaco to race in Indy. I’d miss Monaco to shop at Lidl.

  16. I think Monaco is overrated, the races are generally boring and the has-been celebrities on corporate jollies off-putting. advertising it as the jewel in the crown for F1 probably deters more new fans sticking with the sport than paywalls.

    1. Very well said @emu55 !!!
      Monaco’s specialness is one of those things that are forced onto the fans to believe. It is the boringest race of the season and the only redeeming quality it has is the visual side of it.
      Neither does it seem any more the supposed ultimate test for the drivers than the race at Spa, Suzuka or other street circuit on the calendar.

      And the most memorable Monaco moments are over 25 years old. The race barely ever produces anything memorable. This totally opposed to the Indy 500.

    2. Then you two do not understand F1. For a driver it is one of the most demanding circuits. The level of concentration it takes is mind blowing. The very best F1 drivers do well here. For me it will be fun to watch with the new wider and faster cars.

      1. I always found Quali at Monaco one of the best of the season – it definitely takes a special talent to weave the cars between the barriers. Race itself….. mmmmmmmm

  17. Another aspect of the whole situation is, that giving the drivers more freedom to do whatever they want in their free time, can lead to them being way more relaxed and happy.
    In the past, nearly 10 years we saw more and more frustrated and nervous drivers. And honestly, many times I felt thatif they would be happier and relaxed, they would cry about tires and engines and such, waaaaaaaaay less.
    The constant whining in the past few years I think really shed a much worse light on the sport than what it is.

  18. I find it odd at best to say something like this, Keith/guys:
    “[Alonso] is placing himself in unnecessary danger by taking on this race.”

    What in the hell is “unnecessary danger” when talking about a racing driver competing in a… car race?

    It isn’t like Alonso is the F1 championship leader and would be competing at Indy before the final F1 race where he needed to score points to become champion.
    It would make sense if Indy500 was some regional touring car race with a high risk against no reward, but Indy500 is one of 2 greatest motorsport races in the world (the 2nd being LeMans24).
    The higher reward always goes with the higher risk, but Indy 500’s value is adequate to the risk, just as F1’s value is adequate to its risks.

    And if you say Indianapolis oval track racing’s higher dangerousness is a reason not to compete in it, then Formula 1 higher dangerousness would be a reason not to step up to it from Formula 3 etc. It makes no sense as an argument.

  19. As an American F1, I was surprised and thrilled to hear Alonso will do the 500. I don’t think it would reflect too poorly on F1 but having one of their top drivers missing its premier event can’t be seen as entirely positive. More to the point here(in the USA), it’s providing some much-needed attention to Formula-1 in America to the public and media covering auto racing(once called the Nigel Mansell effect by a good friend). I know some F1-loving race fans, who normally pass up the 500, now attend the Indy 500 just to see Alonso race there. How much an impact will that have the normally 400k in attendance we may know but more international eyes will watch the 500 than ever before on television. F1 now has American owners, an American team but no American driver. And just by chance if Alonso wins(odds are 1 in 33) or finishes well, it could ignite more ticket sales for the USGP or more interest in a second USGP.

  20. In my opinion Fernando’s decision to take part at Indy 500 can only be a positive news, not only for Formula 1 but also for Motorsport in general. In order to understand this decision, we should be back 100 years ago. Back in the 20’s and the 30’s motorsport in general was inspired by Equestrianism where the drivers were considered the riders, the similarity between the two sports doesn’t end here : the engine power is expressed in bhp. Ferrari the most famous name in racing features a prancing horse on its logo… The triple crown was a trophy dedicated to the horse who wins the most prestigious international events whether it was in the UK or in the USA. Since the two worlds were very similar, the triple crown in motorsport was “symbolic” trophy dedicated to the driver who wins the most prestigious races in the world, the F1 WDC or the Monaco GP, Indy 500 and 24 hours LeMans.

    People that criticized Fernando’s move to Indy 500 knew nothing about motorsport history. In the golden age of racing (50s,60s,70s), a professional racing driver jumps every Sunday into a car whatever it was an F1 car, a sport prototype, a GT car , a F2 car… Jim Clark the double world champion lost his life in a F2 race.

    Nowadays, F1 drivers ,that were raised in the Ecclestone who tried (and succeeded) with all the power he had to eclipse every other motorsport category that is considered a threat to F1, doesn’t consider similar move because they simply believe that F1 is the pinnacle of motorsports and the other categories are simply inferior and worthy of their presence.

    Alonso on the other hand is one of the old time greats, a real motorsport passionate and probably the last inheritor (Samurai) of a series of great champions that includes the likes of Graham Hill, Mario Andretti, Jim Clark,Emerson Fittipaldi, Bruce Mclaren… He knows the value of the triple crown and that’s why he is chasing it. I can only say hats off to him for the courage and personality he has shown when making his move regardless of what will be the result.

    1. * raised in the Ecclestone era
      * not worthy of their presence

    2. COTD … agree 100% …

  21. It does’t do any harm to F1…american racing has always been a synonym of failing career for F1 drivers.
    it is more negative for mclaren as it shows thet don’t know what to do to exist.

  22. Neil (@neilosjames)
    23rd April 2017, 15:44

    Very positive. I don’t have any particular interest in IndyCar but even I would say the Indy 500 is a far bigger deal, as an individual race, than Monaco. Monaco is ‘special’ as grands prix go, but as an F1 fan it doesn’t really mean anything more to me than any other race. It’s just one of six or seven races that I hold in slightly higher regard due to their historical importance.

    Whereas the 500 is huge… a far, far bigger part of the series it sits in than Monaco is to F1. And it generates massive interest in a market F1 could really do with increasing its presence in – North America.

    Alonso winning is pretty much out of the question because experience of oval racing counts far more than general single-seater driving ability does, and I don’t even expect him to be particularly prominent in the race, but just the fact that he’s there, being treated as a big deal, is useful exposure for F1.

    And on a personal note, I love the idea of F1 drivers poking their noses into other series from time to time. I read about the early stars of racing like Stirling Moss, and the huge variety of cars he’d hop into and drive, and wish that sort of thing still happened. A small part of me hopes (not too optimistically, I must admit) this, and Hulkenberg’s Le Mans foray, might just be the start of a little bit more ‘wing-spreading’ among the F1 ranks – obviously they’ll never do it like Moss did, but a few guest appearances a year in different series by the top guys of our era would be awesome.

    The only negative is that I don’t, and won’t have, BT Sport… so I can’t watch it.

  23. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
    23rd April 2017, 15:49

    I don’t think this is positive at all. If anyone is in F1, they should want to compete in every race. If anything else is so impotent to them that they actually want to miss an F1 race, then I don’t think they should be in the sport. Someone else could have had an entire season instead and attempted to get the maximum points possible if then had been in his seat. (which Alonso clearly isn’t doing). Alonso did say when he was going to join McLaren Honda, that it would be the last team he would race for in F1. And IMO, he has been very disrespectful in the past couple of years to the team and given he isn’t even taking part in Monaco this year pretty much shows he must be loosing interest a little in racing for them.

    Button seemed to show a lot more respect to them even though they’ve been going downhill massively while he’s been with the team. If Alonso complains as much as he has been doing, I think he should just give up F1 at the end of this year. I wouldn’t be that surprised if Button returned in 2018 actually. He is still under contract and he said that he may possibly return that year.

    Even if another driver instead of Alonso had been in McLaren this year, they surely will have wanted to take every possible chance they had to race. But Alonso doesn’t take the chance to get points at a track that is probably the most likely place he could get a good amount of points this season.

    I know Alonso is still a very good driver but if he isn’t happy with his 3rd year with the team, why should he have another year after this? And yes, it is Honda that are very much responsible for the poor performance. But if he is racing, he should just get the most out of it he can without complaining about everything. If he cut down on the amount he complained about how bad the car was and he wanted to take part in every race, I could have a lot more respect for him.

    1. “If anyone is in F1, they should want to compete in every race. If anything else is so impotent to them that they actually want to miss an F1 race, then I don’t think they should be in the sport.”

      You present very sad, backward thinking.
      It is on Formula 1 to make its series so good/competetive/prestigious that drivers want to take part in it more than anywhere else.
      The ‘should’ in “If anyone is in F1, they should want to compete in every race” made me cringe. It comes from a place where Formula 1 is this default divine perfection that can’t be questioned and should be praised for anything it does. Nothing more wrong.

      If a brilliant driver, a grand champion and competitor, sees a different racing series as a better platform to showcase his skills and fulfill his sportive aspirations than it is on Formula 1 to look itself in the mirror criticially to evaluate whether it is doing a good job.
      Formula 1 isn’t a God’s gift to humanity. It’s an enterprise that organizes racing car competition and it can die out and vanish any day just like anything else in the world.

      1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
        23rd April 2017, 17:16

        @damon
        Fair enough, we have very different views. But this is just what I think. I should have maybe been more careful with how I worded the first sentence. I do only mean if any other motersport or similar is of more interest to them, they sould maybe think about leaving F1 as someone else may actaully want to be there and race at every race! And what made you cringe is still exactly what I think. Alonso is costing himself a chance to get points in the championship, as would any driver if they chose to miss any race. I don’t think that is a good move as it shows the other drivers are quite clearly more interested in taking part. Even though Honda is making the team look poor, I am sure there are other drivers out there that would have been wanted to actually race at every race weekend and do the best for the team. I just don’t think it is good that Alonso wants to do something else more than race at Monaco.

        Most people think differntly though so this is as I said, just my opinion.

    2. Realistically, the most points Alonso would get here is 10 (a 5th position is a bit optimistic, it would require at least 2 Ferrari/Mercedes/Red Bull to ge into trouble, and McLaren to be faster than the other midfield teams, and the car to finish the race).

      At this point I doubt Alonso cares about his WDC position unless it’s 1st. So the points are irrelevant for him. As for the team, the smallest gap between teams in the WCC in the last 5 years has been:

      -2016: 13 (between Toro Rosso and McLaren)
      -2015: 9 (between McLaren and Sauber)
      -2014: 2 (between Sauber/Caterham and Marussia)
      -2013: 5 (between Marussia/Caterham and Williams)
      -2012: 16 (between Sauber and Mercedes)

      The only times the gap was above 10 points was with midfield teams. In 2015, Sauber and McLaren scored points in a few races, but struggled to be consistent and most of their points came from a couple of lucky races. In 2014, Sauber and Caterham didn’t even achieve any points. The second smallest gap was 8 points between Marussia and Lotus. Lotus scored points in just 3 races. In 2013, again, Caterham and Marussia didn’t score points and Williams only scored points in 2 races.

      Chances are, the 10 or so points Alonso could score in Monaco (if he’s lucky) will only matter in the WCC if McLaren-Honda fail to become a regular points scorer. If that’s the case, then the lost WCC positions will be the last of their problems.

      The only way this will become a real problem is if McLaren-Honda shows up at Monaco with a car capable of a podium or a win on merit. That’s highly unlikely.

      1. I think you’ve expressed the problem very well.

  24. Is only bad for McLaren F1, your star driver leaves you in the race with more chances to score many points, that tells you all you need to know about the car they have this year.

    1. “that tells you all you need to know about the car they have this year.”
      That tells you nothing we didn’t know already. It’s not like it has gone unnoticed that this year’s McLaren is garbage, is it?
      It actually adds some positive narrative to a team that has had none this season.

  25. It’s all good. The crossover of F1 and Indy car drivers taking place in the ’60s is the reason I’m an F1 fan today. Otherwise it is uncertain when or if I would have been exposed to F1 at all. Jim Clark winning the Indy 500 was a defining moment for me as a very young race fan. I wanted to know more about him and F1 and have been a fan of F1 ever since. How can this kind of exposure with Alonso racing in the Indy 500 be bad for either racing series? This will bring more fans to F1 and to IndyCar racing.

  26. Neither positive nor negative to me. I’m F1 fan and don’t really care about IndyCar at the moment.
    When my countryman Kubica used to rally in his F1 days, it was irrelevant to me.

  27. Whats next – Hulk driving a touring series or GRO taking a go in DTM both in the F1 season… the WC points list is then without interest..and the fans will look for another sport or class…would anyone be upset if Liverpool suddenly started to play in the south america legue…and the fans would the accept this…NO

  28. For me, Spa has always been F1’s premier event, not Monaco.

    1. And Silverstone, Monza offcourse.

  29. Racing davr
    24th April 2017, 0:02

    Harking back to a time when drivers were heros and drove anything and everything. Do you think Moss and Stewart would still be able to wheeled out in present day if they only drove F1. They where heros of their time – Mr Motorsport – and we still love them for it. F1 drivers have become sanitised machines so it’s great to see one break ranks – why is Kimi so popular… why was rosberg not so…. I have a lot of respect for Lewis living his life and sharing – wether to my taste or not he is a person – who are the others on grid?

  30. Mclaren/Honda’s efforts this year have been woeful and nothing suggests that anything will be any different for quite some time.

    As a result, we really won’t be seeing anything like Alonso at his best so maybe letting him drive a car that is actually competitive in another series is a good thing.

    I’m finding the while thing to be a bit “meh” though, but then maybe that’s me.

  31. This is the way it should be. Drivers doing other events in addition to F1. I think alonso’s indycar race is amazing thing to happen. No matter how it goes. F1 drivers are superstars and what better way to showcase their talent than allowing them to do some other races?

    It does hurt f1 a bit when a driver has to miss one race to take part in other series but that is not really alonso’s fault. F1/indycar/wec calendars should be made with this kind of thing in mind. Lemans, indy500 and monaco should not clash ever with other events from those other series.

  32. There is no doubt Alonso wouldn’t be doing Indy if his McLaren was anywhere near competitive which is sad.
    I find it interesting that a spec series (way more so than F1 anyway) is suddenly looked upon so positively. Remember that survey last year ? – anything remotely spec was looked upon as vastly inferior. Superspeedways will always be a unique, dangerous and highly specialised type of racing, spec or not. I am glad this has opened people’s eyes a little.

  33. It’s a positive for Formula 1, it’s a positive for IndyCar, it’s a positive for motor sport in general.

  34. Rooki’e have won 10% of Indy 500 races including last year. Graham Hill & Montoya did it, and Mansell came 3rd on his debut. Team owner Michael Andretti said there is a lot of opportunity for a ‘rookie’ to do well as there’s ample time to practice – Alonso will have 7-10 days on track before the race

  35. It was interesting in the beginning, but it’s getting a bit boring now with almost half of all articles going on about Alonso and Indy 500. And it’s probably only gonna get worse the week of the actual race.

    Besides, it’s a lot more of a lottery than any F1 race, so that makes it less interesting.

    Would prefer a lot more F1-relevant info.

  36. This is fantastic for F1 and IndyCar! The Monaco date should be moved so this can happen more. The reason Monaco is always scheduled at the same time is to prevent F1 drivers from doing the same thing Alonso is doing.

    He will be LAPPING at speeds faster than F1 has ever achieved (230+). Entering turn 1 with 33 cars in 3 rows of 11 nearing 245 mph will be an eye opener for him.

    Very intense. Can’t wait!

  37. C’mon, everyone knows that one of the big reasons he is doing this is because of McHonda’s incompetence from the last three years, and it also helps American race fans to get to know more about F1.

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