Spaniard two-times F1 Champion Fernando Alonso
has announced that he will drive for the Arrow McLaren SP
team at the 104th edition of the 500 Miles of Indianapolis which will be held on May the 24th. Alonso thus continues on his quest for the coveted Triple Crown
In any case, there are still many questions regarding this partnership
. For instance, nobody yet knows if Alonso will be taking part in any other race of the American championship calendar, as he originally planned to do with Andretti Autosport
, with whom he first wanted to join forces for this edition of the Indy500.
McLaren was not the Spaniard’s first pick this time but an alleged Honda veto, engine suppliers of some of the most important teams in the IndyCar and potential team’s for Alonso, has resulted in McLaren being his only option.
Thus, in the face of the Japanese engine manufacturer’s block, Alonso has had no choice but to repeat with McLaren, despite the dreadful experience they shared just twelve months ago when the British manufacturer could not come up with a car nearly acceptable.
After Alonso decided to completely severe links with the team from Woking a couple of months ago by giving up his role as the brand’s ambassador, no one could anticipate the announcement of his return to the legendary American race by the hand of the English team. Moreover, Arrow McLaren SP had already announced its line-up for the IndyCar season which included only the Mexican Patricio O’Ward and the American Oliver Askew.
Let’s not forget that in his second appearance at the ‘Brickyard’ and onboard a lousy McLaren machine, Alonso did not even qualify into the 33 positions that gave access to the race, losing the last position to Kyle Kayser and the Argentine team Racing Reeds.
It is no secret that Alonso had been in negotiations with Andretti Autosport, his first choice. It was in fact with that team, that he premiered at the legendary event in 2017, reaping great sensations. Andretti, however, as explained above, is powered by Japanese engines and it is that supplier that has closed the doors on Alonso.
According to several news sources, the relationship of the engine manufacturers with the Spaniard is broken without repair after the criticisms that the latter poured over the brand during their Formula 1 relationship when the Honda engines used by McLaren were plagued with faults.
But for Honda, there is another, more serious reason than the mere criticisms from the two-time champion. According to them, the Spaniard is responsible for their divorce with the F1 British team, a loss that they are not ready to forgive.
Faced with that overarching veto, which it must be said, Honda’s subsidiary in the United States did not agree with, the chances of even taking part in the Indy500 for the third time had been reduced to almost zero. There was, therefore, no other way out for Alonso than to embark again on a project with McLaren.
He now must now really turn the page and leave behind what happened in 2019 when he even suffered a serious accident as he attempted to make the cut with that poorly performing vehicle.
Fernando will wear the number 66 in his new attempt to win the Triple Crown. Taking the honorary title has become his main professional objective after running out of competitive options in Formula 1 where he felt frustrated and unable to compete for a third title, largely because of the poor performance of the Honda engines used by the UK team.
Since then he has taken on other motorsport disciplines where he has been able to ratify his quality and versatility as a race driver. In 2019 he took the World Endurance Championship title
with Toyota, modality in which he also won the legendary 24 hours of Le Mans
in 2018 and 2019 and the 24 Hours of Daytona 2019.
Images of Fernando Alonso: McLaren & Indycar.