Fernando Alonso has won the award of Rookie of the Year after his Indy 500 attempt which ended with an engine failure. Alonso was in contention for the victory for over 150 laps before his Honda engine gave up, ending his dreams of a 2017 triumph.
Alonso qualified fifth and led for 27 laps. Despite retiring from the race, the double world champion received praise across the motorsport community for the grit, determination and speed that he showed. With the prize of rookie of the year, he also bagged $305,805.
"Congratulations to [Takuma] Sato, and to Andretti," Alonso said. "Takuma was a lot of help, coming from Formula 1. The last two laps I was on my knees really pushing Sato. Extremely happy for the final result."
Sato won the race and in turn pocketed a massive $2,458,129 after becoming the 71st winner of the long and prestigious event: "It is unbelievable. Michael Andretti gave me a fantastic opportunity with his team. I want to thank all the 26 car guys and engineers, Honda, everyone. This is really awesome. The organisation is unbelievable. I'm so proud of the whole team, it's just a great victory. I'm so proud."