Alonso to compete in Indy 500 with McLaren

  • Published on 25 Feb 2020 20:48
  • 7
  • By: Coilin Higgins

It has been announced that two-time world champion Fernando Alonso will return to the Indianapolis 500 with the Arrow McLaren SP team.

Alonso is set to return to McLaren to compete in the race for a third time, despite failing to qualify for the race last year.

McLaren, who are looking forward to its first full IndyCar season alongside Schmidt Peterson Motorsports will run a third car for Alonso alongside drivers Patricio O'Ward and Oliver Askew.

It is understood the car will be engineered by Craig Hampton, the R&D engineer at the McLaren Arrow SP team as Alonso prepares to drive the car for the first time at the Indy 500 open test due to take place on April 30.

"I am a racer and the Indy 500 is the greatest race in the world," Alonso told Autosport. "I love the incredible fans who make it so special for all of us drivers and make me want to come back.

"I have maximum respect for this race and everyone who competes in it and all I want to do is race against them and give my best, as always."

Despite leaving the ambassadorial role he held at McLaren last month, Alonso expressed his happiness at returning to the team for the 2020 Indy 500.

Alonso also spoke of his excitement of working with the new McLaren Arrow SP team and is confident that the team can produce a good result.

"It was important for me to explore my options for this race but Arrow McLaren SP has always been at the top," Alonso commented. "I have a special relationship with McLaren; we've been through a lot together and that creates a bond, a loyalty that is strong.

"But more than that I am impressed with how the new organisation and operation is developing into a strong package with the Chevrolet partnership.

"The team has experienced, well-qualified people and great resources, and I'm confident we can be competitive."

Replies (7)

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  • Fantastic. Some heads will explode upon reading this news. Somehow this doesn't fit the worn narrative that "surely Alonso couldn't end in good terms with a team."

    At any rate, good for Alonso, good for Indy, good for Mclaren. Even if the car is trash and is not in contention for a win, Alonso will bring so much attention and cameras that everybody involved will get something for it.

    If anything, Alonso is the one that stands to lose the most... considering his last proper appearance involved a proper fight for the win and the fastest lap average laptime of all. Expectations are high.

    • + 2
    • Feb 25 2020 - 23:45
    • Kean

      Posts: 692

      I actually think Arrow McL has a chance at Indy. They didn't look too bad last year on ovals. With a few improvements and with Alonso driving, who knows. Also he won't have a Honda in the back ruining his race ;-)

      • + 3
      • Feb 26 2020 - 07:32
    • agyynkhan

      Posts: 3

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      • + 2
      • Feb 26 2020 - 09:51
  • f1dave

    Posts: 782

    Sorry Alonso but the Indy 500 is not the greatest race in the world.

    • + 2
    • Feb 26 2020 - 00:52
    • Agree, but I do hope he qualifies this time and gets to race. Even though it's not the greatest race in the world, it probably has the largest crowd in house and the triple crown is definitely a solid achievement. He's been hinting at a 2021 return to F1, but I'm not sure if he'll get a seat. That being said he does seem to have his head so far up Brown's butt that he might just be able to get one of the younger drivers demoted to reserve driver. I'm old, so I say if older drivers, just like women can get a seat on merit, then more power to them. Always been an Alonso fan, much more than a fan of his decision making savvy.

      • + 2
      • Feb 26 2020 - 07:08
  • agyynkhan

    Posts: 3

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    • + 2
    • Feb 26 2020 - 09:51

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