IndyCar is the only option Fernando Alonso has if he wants to win races next season, according to NBC's Will Buxton. Alonso has repeatedly vented his frustration with McLaren-Honda, enduring two and a half years with a slow and unreliable package.
The Spaniard has been linked with an IndyCar seat for the 2018 season, but also says that he would remain with McLaren if it drops Honda. The two-time world champion made his IndyCar debut earlier this year, contesting in the grueling Indy 500.
Takuma Sato, who won the 2017 Indy 500, is reportedly set to leave Andretti-Honda which would pave the way for Alonso to join. Alonso raced for the Andretti team in May at Indianapolis, with McLaren partnering up with the squad for the one off entry.
"That now marks a clear route for Fernando to either get out completely, or take a sabbatical and go and do Indy for a year," Buxton said. "He said 'whatever I do in 2018, I need to be in a race-winning car, where I can fight for wins and titles'. That's not going to be in McLaren, it won't be at Renault, and regardless of how brilliant Paddy Lowe is and the money that Lawrence Stroll brings, it's not going to be at Williams. Where does that leave a race-winning car? The only place is IndyCar."
Former McLaren mechanic Marc Priestley agreed that the American racing series could be an option for Alonso: "He loved racing in Indy, he's made no secret that he wants to go back and I think it could be an option. He's being so vocal at the moment that there will come a point where other teams will start looking at him and thinking 'do we want someone whose that divisive in our team?'"
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing