Saturday, 15 December, 2018

Alonso to race for McLaren at Indy 500

Alonso Johnson relishing ride swap opportunity			Image by Getty Images for NASCAR Alonso Johnson relishing ride swap opportunity Image by Getty Images for NASCAR
Cary Erickson | 13 November, 2018, 18:41

In last year's Indy 500, which was Alonso's first career IndyCar race and his first career oval race, he qualified and started in fifth place.

It was just a few weeks ago at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas when Alonso announced he was not interested in running a full season in the IndyCar Series but said he would like to return to the Indianapolis 500 one day after his impressive run in 2017.

McLaren has announced that it will return to contest the 103rd Running of the Indianapolis 500 with Fernando Alonso. Be sure to tune in to the race to see how Fernando Alonso will perform in his second career Indy 500 race and his second career IndyCar race in his quest to become the second driver ever to win each of the three races in the "Triple Crown of Motorsport".

Alonso is a double Monaco Grand Prix victor and also won the Le Mans 24 Hours this year, leaving only Indianapolis between him and becoming only the second driver to achieve the "Triple Crown of Motorsport".

McLaren driver Fernando Alonso, of Spain, makes a toast during a promotion event made by one of his sponsors, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2018. McLaren didn't say Saturday who it would be partnering with for the 2019 race. "I had an incredible experience at Indianapolis in 2017 and I knew in my heart of hearts I had to go back if the opportunity was there".

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"Our commitment to Fernando and ourselves is that we are going to give him and ourselves every chance to be competitive, and we're going there with every chance of trying to win the race".

Despite disappointing seasons with McLaren in F1, Alonso said the team was his first choice for an IndyCar return.

Alonso is now languishing down in 10th spot in this season's Formula One drivers' standings and on Saturday was eliminated from the first session of qualifying for the Brazilian Grand Prix. "One of the things I'm looking forward to most is seeing the fans again, who are absolutely fantastic". In 2019, it will return as McLaren Racing. "We're going for it". But next May the 37-year-old Spaniard will return to the famous oval and bid to emulate Graham Hill's feat - and he'll do it in a McLaren-run auto.

Brown said McLaren's return to the Indy 500 will not detract from its Formula One goals.