It is no secret that McLaren-Honda has struggled in F1. There is even a website devoted to tracking all the breakdowns the team experiences. Fernando Alonso, a two-time champion that deserves better, has been reduced to a meme:
But chin up, guys. Alonso is getting a break! Instead of strapping himself in for a slow cruise around Monaco in late May, Alonso gets to leave behind his broken F1 car and head to Indianapolis. While ESPN states that it started as a joke, Fernando Alonso will race in this year’s Indy 500 in McLaren’s return to the race for the first time in 38 years.
Even though McLaren hasn’t been to Indy in over three decades, Honda powered cars are a staple there. Three of the last five Indy 500 champions have driven Hondas, a much better recent track record than in Formula One.
According to Foxsports, Alonso’s ride will be entered by the Andretti Autosport team but will sport a classic livery last used by a former Indy 500 winner for McLaren: Johnny Rutherford.
Alonso’s interest in the Indy 500 is due to it being the next step in his quest for the Triple Crown of motorsports. The Triple Crown includes the Monaco Grand Prix, the Indianapolis 500 and the Le Mans 24-hour race. He has already won the Monaco GP twice and, if he can win in Indy, would be on his way to a feat only accomplished by one driver in all of history: Graham Hill.
Too bad he still has to return to F1 to complete the season, though.